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Netflix reportedly to edit "Squid Game" scenes showing phone number after woman inundated with prank calls

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix series "Squid Game" is played on a mobile phone in this picture illustration
The Netflix series "Squid Game" is played on a cell phone in a September 30, 2021 photo. KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS

A South Korean woman's phone has rung off the hook since her number appeared in the hit Netflix series "Squid Game," but she may catch a break soon as the streaming giant and its South Korean production partner have reportedly agreed to edit her digits out of the series.

The Reuters news agency on Wednesday quoted Netflix as saying in a statement that, along with the Siren Pictures production house, it was "working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary." Netflix also urged fans of the show to stop pranking the woman.

In the hugely popular show, the last eight digits of the real-world woman's phone number can be seen on an invitation card given to potential players in the "Squid Game," which involves cash-strapped contestants competing in a series of simple challenges, based on children's games, for a huge cash prize. The price of failure in all the challenges, or for any perceived violation of the rules, is death.

Korean TV network SBS interviewed the owner of the phone number in September, identifying her as Kim Gil-young, a businesswoman in the southern county of Seongju. She spoke about the kind of prank calls she was getting, most of which referenced the Netflix show.

The South Korean Film Council offers movie production companies phone numbers that aren't in use to show on screen, according to Reuters, but streaming shows don't have access to the service.

The news agency said Netflix and Siren had both previously explained that when the made "Squid Game," they only showed the final eight digits of the cell phone number. They said they didn't realize that, when those last eight digits are dialed within the country, the phone system automatically adds the missing initial digits, or prefix, to complete the call.

Kim told SBS that she couldn't just change her phone number to dodge the nuisance calls as it is used by her clients.

She also said, according to Reuters, that she had declined an offer from the "Squid Game" makers of about $840 in compensation for her trouble. The SBS network said she was later offered five times that sum, but Reuters said both Netflix and Siren Pictures had declined to discuss any
such offers.

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