'Squid Game: The Challenge' players say they suffered injuries while filming
Two contestants of the new Netflix series Squid Game: The Challenge are threatening legal action over alleged injuries they said they suffered while filming, including hypothermia.
Express Solicitors, a law firm based in the U.K., said no lawsuit has been filed yet, but the firm has begun legal action against the show's production company, Studio Lambert.
The health concerns were mainly centered around the first challenge of the game show, "Red Light, Green Light," where contestants race to the finish line without being detected by a motion-spotting robot. It requires players to run quickly when the giant robot doll is not looking and then abruptly stop and stand still when the robot faces toward them.
David Slade, an accident specialist with Express Solicitors, said at least two contestants felt "unwell" after standing or crouching "motionless for hours in cold temperatures," which led to one contestant suffering from hypothermia. There was also a concern about the iconic green uniform, which one contestant alleged did not proper protect her from the chilly conditions, Slade added.
"From what we've been told they pushed the boundaries of safety in the name of entertainment," he said in a statement. "Production companies need to ensure that health and safety standards on their shows don't leave people at risk of harm."
The first round of competition took place at Cardington Studios in Bedford, England. Netflix's fan-focused website, Tudum, also reported that temperatures were "very cold" on set, adding that staff distributed hand warmers and placed heaters in tented areas for contestants to warm-up during breaks.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the show said, "We take the welfare of our contestants extremely seriously."
Earlier this year, Netflix confirmed that three people received medical treatment while filming the show, but it denied that any of the injuries were serious.
"We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures. While it was very cold on set – and participants were prepared for that – any claims of serious injury are untrue," Netflix said in a January statement to CNN.
The reality competition is inspired by the South Korean hit series Squid Game, about a group of cash-strapped players hoping to get rich or die trying in a violent game show. The drama became a worldwide sensation and it remains one of the most watched pieceof television on Netflix.
In the spin-off, the deaths are fake, with black ink spewing from a contestant's vest when they are eliminated. But the stakes are still high. With a jackpot of $4.56 million, contestants will have a chance to win the single largest cash prize offered in game show history.
Similar to the fictionalized series, the reality version includes 456 players competing in children's games like Battleship and Dalgona, where players have to carefully carve out shapes on a Korean candy without breaking it.
The first five episodes of the game show premiered last week. The next four episodes are scheduled to be released this Wednesday.
Express Solicitors says it is currently working to speak to other contestants possibly injured during the games.
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