Real-life Squid Game contestants brand filming conditions ‘inhumane’


Angry contestants who took part in a new Netflix reality show based on the streamer’s drama Squid Game have spoken out to claim the filming conditions were ‘inhumane’.

John and Marlene, whose names have been changed to protect their identity after they signed nondisclosure agreements, hoped to scoop the huge £3.7million cash prize, the biggest in television history.

But they have blasted the production after they were made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures as filming commenced at the Cardington TV Studios in Bedford last month.

John told Variety: ‘This is not a Bear Grylls survival show. If they had told us it was going to be that cold, no one would have gone through with it.’

He added: ‘The conditions were absolutely inhumane and had nothing to do with the game.’

Bad experience? Contestants who took part in a Netflix reality show based on the streamer's drama Squid Game have spoken out to claim the filming conditions were 'inhumane'

Bad experience? Contestants who took part in a Netflix reality show based on the streamer’s drama Squid Game have spoken out to claim the filming conditions were ‘inhumane’

It is claimed the contestants were given a wake-up call of 3.30am on the first day of production when they played Red Light, Green Light.

They were told to bring their own coats to the huge hangers at Bedford’s Cardington Studios due to the freezing cold weather in the UK at the time.

In addition, they were given hand and foot warmers, two pairs of thermal underwear and socks. 

The players were put into groups and given a tracksuit identical to the one worn by the contestants in the drama.

It is claimed they were told the game would take two hours to complete but it is thought it ended up taking closer to seven hours.

As the contest progressed, it is claimed the contestants were told to wear their coats open so their player number could be seen and so fake blood could easily squirt from devices attached to their tracksuits.

‘The second time the song played, I saw in my left peripheral vision that this girl was swaying. Then she just buckled, and you could hear her head actually hit the ground.’ said Marlene.

Marlene claims the players were told to hold their positions but added that other contenders were ‘dropping like flies’.

Cold They have blasted the production after they were made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures as filming commenced at the Cardington TV Studios in Bedford last month (Cardington Studios pictured)

Cold They have blasted the production after they were made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures as filming commenced at the Cardington TV Studios in Bedford last month (Cardington Studios pictured)

She added that the players were given ‘relaxation breaks’ but estimated it took 11 calls to the medics before the breaks began.

MailOnline has contacted Netflix and production company Studio Lambert for comment. 

The streaming platform has been secretly shooting a reality version based on the deadly fictional competition.  

A total of 456 players, the same as in the original series, took part and some are said to have started to feel unwell during the first game, Red Light, Green Light.

Fury: It comes after some contestants said they are considering legal action against Netflix (pictured the hit series the reality show is based off)

Fury: It comes after some contestants said they are considering legal action against Netflix (pictured the hit series the reality show is based off) 

Competitors had flown in from as far as the United States and Australia for the show, which was being filmed at Cardington Studios, a former RAF base near Bedford.

Hundreds were eliminated in the first round and then stayed in bunkbeds at the studios, just like in the Korean series.

In the original series, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children’s games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly.

Dozens of players blasted the production last month, claiming they were ‘treated like animals’ and made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures.

Wow! Elsewhere, Netflix has been secretly shooting a reality version based on Squid Game, with participants battling it out for the biggest cash prize in TV history - £3.7million

Unhappy: Dozens of players have blasted the production claiming they were ‘treated like animals’ and made to stand for hours in freezing temperatures

Two participants were reportedly kicked off the show before filming even began after breaking production rules by having sex in the hotel they were put in.  

‘We were tortured for eight hours. We were just fodder. You wouldn’t treat animals like that. I know the show was supposed to be tough but it felt inhumane,’ one player told The Sun.  

‘At one point I could see they were bringing on a black coffin with a pink ribbon just like in the original show. I feel like they prioritised getting a good shot over helping us.’

Another player claimed people were ‘dropping like flies’ due to the cold weather.

Elsewhere two players are said to have ruined their chances before the games even began, after bed-hopping at the Tower Hotel in London where contestants stayed in for two days before filming in Bedford commenced.  

A source told the publication: ‘There were strict rules for players to follow before filming started on the show. The production team discovered two had been sleeping together and had to cut them before it even started.’

The insider went on to say the rules included not being allowed to interact with other players or smoke and drink alcohol during the hotel stay.  

It comes after reports emerged contestants were reportedly left screaming ‘medic’ before they were stretchered off in freezing conditions while filming.

Casting call: The streaming platform has been secretly shooting a reality version based on the deadly fictional competition, with participants battling it out for £3.7million

Casting call: The streaming platform has been secretly shooting a reality version based on the deadly fictional competition, with participants battling it out for £3.7million 

In a statement to Deadline, Netflix and the show’s producers Studio Lambert and The Garden said earlier this week, ‘while it was very cold on set — and participants were prepared for that — any claims of serious injury are untrue.

‘We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures,’ it added.

One player previously told The Sun: ‘Even if hypothermia kicked in then people were willing to stay for as long as possible because a lot of money was on the line.

‘Too many were determined not to move so they stood there for far too long.

Racy: Meanwhile, two participants were reportedly kicked off the show before it even began after breaking production rules by having sex in the hotel they were put in

Racy: Meanwhile, two participants were reportedly kicked off the show before it even began after breaking production rules by having sex in the hotel they were put in 

‘There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.’  

They added: ‘It was like a warzone. People were getting carried out by medics but we couldn’t say anything. If you talk then you’re out. Some people couldn’t move their feet because it was so cold.

‘You could hear someone yell ‘medic’ and the crew would rush on. We ended up standing there for 30 minutes between takes. Some were crawling by the end. At least one was carried out on a stretcher.’

Troubles: Players are said to have felt like they had frostbite as the temperatures at the UK filming location plummeted to -3C, according to The Sun

Troubles: Players are said to have felt like they had frostbite as the temperatures at the UK filming location plummeted to -3C, according to The Sun



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