SEOUL – A South Korean woman who was inundated with thousands of prank calls and text messages after her phone number was highlighted as a key plot point on the hit Netflix show “Squid Game” may experience some relief soon.
Netflix and local production company Siren Pictures said Wednesday they were editing scenes to remove the phone number that appears on a mysterious invitation card given to potential gamers on a series of deadly kids’ games.
The nine-part thriller, in which insolvent contestants gamble to the death to win 45.6 billion won ($ 38.31 million), became an international hit when it premiered on the streaming service last month.
Local broadcaster SBS aired an interview last month with the owner of the phone number they identified as Kim Gil-young, a woman who runs a business in southeast Seongju County. The woman showed off some of the messages she had received, including invitations to the Squid Game and “from rags to riches.”
Reuters calls to the phone number were not answered on Wednesday.
“We’re working with the production company to resolve this issue, including editing scenes with phone numbers if necessary,” Netflix said on Wednesday, urging fans to refrain from prank calls or messages.
The woman told SBS last month that customer contacts made it impossible for her to change her number and that she had declined an offer of 1 million won ($ 840) in compensation. SBS has reported that she has since been offered compensation of up to 5 million won.
Netflix and Siren Pictures declined to comment on compensation offers on Wednesday.
Presidential candidate Huh Kyung-young made headlines last week when he offered 100 million won ($ 84,023) on Facebook to buy the leaked number on the show.
Telephone numbers are considered limited national resources and their sale or purchase is illegal under local regulations Telecommunications business law.
The Ministry of Culture’s Korean Film Council provides filmmakers with screen numbers that are not used in real life, but television shows streamed on over-the-top (OTT) services such as Netflix do not have access to that service.
Netflix and Siren had previously said that they purposely only displayed the last eight digits of the cell phone number, unaware that when dialing the area code would automatically be added to complete the number.