Photo of contestants in Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge. They are wearing the same green uniforms as the contestants from the drama show of the same name.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ Had a Grueling Filming Schedule

Squid Game: The Challenge recently concluded, and it’s terrible and exploitative as hell. Of course, we still have lingering questions about the making of the first season of the reality series, including exactly how long it was filmed.

Recommended Videos

You might be surprised to hear this, but Squid Game: The Challenge only took 16 days total to film. According to Cosmopolitan, the show was filmed entirely at Wharf Studios, London, over two weeks. Contestants had to work from 8AM to 11PM, about 16 hours each day.

This grueling labor also put contestants under camera surveillance 24/7, which took an immense physical toll on many of them. It’s reported that in “Red Light, Green Light,” the very first challenge of Squid Game involving a murderous doll with laser eyes, each contestant sometimes had to hold poses for close to an hour. Some of these poses put enormous strain on the body.

Squid Game: The Challenge is directly adapted from the original K-drama Squid Game. The OG show pits poor people against each other, Hunger Games-style, for a chance to win millions of dollars. These challenges often ended in gruesome deaths. It was anti-capitalist commentary on how society views the working class.

We’ve talked before about how exploitative this reality TV show seemed before airing, and it turns out we were pretty much right. As reported by Rolling Stone, work conditions on the show were incredibly abusive. The airport hangar where “Red Light, Green Light” took place was reportedly freezing cold, and a few contestants needed medical attention. Other contestants said they were treated like livestock for entertainment, and another said it was the cruelest experience they’ve ever gone through.

This is exactly what happens when you exploit vulnerable people for entertainment. Netflix is evil for doing this, and anyone creating apologia for the situation is just as bad. Of course, Netflix PR people issued their own defenses, citing that the claims were either exaggerated or untrue, but I don’t for a second trust this company.

Squid Game: The Challenge should have never been made. It’s evil, exploitative garbage concocted by a corporate boardroom that hates the poor. Don’t watch it.

(featured image: Netflix)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson (he/they) writes about media criticism, race studies, intersectional feminism, and left-wing politics. He has been working with digital media and writing about pop culture since 2014. He enjoys video games, movies, and TV, and often gets into playful arguments with friends over Shonen anime and RPGs. He has experience writing for The Mary Sue,, Bunny Ears, Static Media, and The Crimson White. His Twitter can be found here: