On Thanksgiving Day, the British personal injury firm, Express Solicitors, announced that they are representing the dismayed contestants in their effort to be compensated, and have “sent letters of claim” on their behalf. According to the firm’s statement, the contestants in question “suffered injuries such as hypothermia and nerve damage as a result of poor health and safety standards on set.”
Express Solicitors’ CEO, Daniel Slade, issued a statement regarding the show’s production company, Studio Lambert, and the contestants’ experiences. “From what we’ve been told, they pushed the boundaries of safety in the name of entertainment,” he said. “Production companies need to ensure that health and safety standards on their shows don’t leave people at risk of harm.”
The specific scene that has gotten the most attention is the iconic “Red Light, Green Light” game, which was filmed earlier this year in freezing winter conditions. Speaking to The Sun, Slade said: “Contestants thought they were taking part in something fun and those injured did not expect to suffer as they did. Now they have been left with injuries after spending time being stuck in painful stress positions in cold temperatures. One client describes seeing someone faint, then people shouting for medics. We have a case where someone complains of hypothermia. One had his hands turn purple from the cold. Such injuries can have very serious long-term health implications. One of our clients complains of being given ill-fitting clothing despite the cold conditions.”
However, producers from Squid Game: The Challenge have spoken about the complaints, and pushed back against some of the claims and insinuations. “We’re giving away the largest prize in TV competition history. It wasn’t going to be a walk in the park to win $4.56 million,” producer Stephen Lambert told The Hollywood Reporter.
Continuing, Lambert suggested that, contrary to the complaints, Squid Game: The Competition may have been “a lot nicer and a lot easier than an awful lot of unscripted shows.” Comparing it to “some of the survival shows that have been made” and “a whole bunch of successful shows in the States,” he said: “ This is no harder than those, and in lots of shows you have people sometimes treated for mild complaints, which is what happened in that particular game.”
For his part, producer John Hay echoed Lambert’s sentiment. “The particular criticism you’re talking about was centered around the filming of ‘Red Light, Green Light,’” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “That was a big, complicated shoot, and it was a cold day, and it took quite a long time. But everyone was prepared for that and looked after properly. We anticipated and actually strenuously tested everything in advance and made sure we took all the proper measures.”
Meanwhile, Squid Game: The Challenge has premiered, with Netflix sharing the first five episodes this past week. For more, be sure to read Consequence’s review of the “grotesque distortion of the original.”