Society

The most popular Korean Netflix show discloses a real phone number

An eccentric politician proposes to buy it

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A real phone number appeared on the Squid game, one of the most popular Netflix shows. It is owned by an individual who constantly receives phone calls. A peculiar South Korean politician proposes to buy it for $85,000.

The Squid Game is a Korean thriller in which people are paid to play in a mysterious, apparently childish, survival game. The show was released on September 17 worldwide by Netflix and gained instant popularity.

It has been the #1 TV show of the platform since September 23 and may become its biggest success.

In the series, actors receive a business card with a phone number to participate in the game. The show may be a fiction but the phone number is real.

And the owner of the phone number, who has been using it for 10 years for her business, reportedly receives 4,000 phone calls a day because of it, mostly prank calls from kids who would like to be in the game.

Netflix is allegedly working on finding a solution. But it also gained attention of a quirky South Korean politician who offered the anonymous phone number holder 1 million won (US 85,000 dollars) to purchase it.

A real Korean phone number handed out on business cards in Squid game, one of the most popular Netflix TV shows
A real Korean phone number handed out on business cards in Squid game, one of the most popular Netflix TV shows | © Netflix

A politician who falsely claimed to have been invited to George W. Bush’s election party

Huh Kyung-young (허경영) indeed shared a post of Facebook where he said he would buy the phone number for ₩1 million.

Mr Kyung-young is a peculiar political figure in South Korea. He has been running for several elections, including the presidential elections several times, gathering 0.47% of the votes in 2007, and wants to run for president in 2022.

As he has been using images of the Squid game for his political communication on social media, Huh Kyung-young is an extravagant South Korean figure.

In 2007, he pretended he had the power to levitate and an IQ of 430. He also claimed he could cure people with his eyes. He also released several songs in 2009, including one with inspired by the inspector gadget theme.

He falsely claimed he was invited to a party celebrating the election of George W. Bush and showed a fabricated image of him with the former president. In 2019, he also showed another fabricated image with Donald J. Trump.

On the political side, he had proposed to offer ₩200,000 ($169) a month to single people as a dating allowance to encourage them to date and boost South Korea’s low childbirth rate.

He was convicted of defamation and spent time in prison after the 2007 presidential election but he is eligible to run for the next one in March 2022.

Update Oct 6: Netflix said it would edit the series and change the number. According to Reuters, the production company included a shorten number but didn’t think the prefix would be automatically added to complete the number

Read more about South Korea

Source
Netflix Says ‘Squid Game’ Could Be Its Biggest Show Ever, Barron's, September 2021, Free accessPresidential hopeful offers 100 million won to buy phone number exposed in 'Squid Game', Korea Times, September 2021, Free access허경영, Facebook, September 2021, Free accessWhen unrealistic becomes real, Korea Times, March 2021, Free accessNetflix to edit 'Squid Game' phone number after woman inundated with calls, Reuters, October 6, Free access
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