The popular Netflix TV series Squid Game, which follows a group of people participating in deadly children’s games for a massive cash prize, has some schools worried. The Fayetteville-Manlius School District in New York has warned parents about their children wearing costumes from the hit show after seeing students mimicking the violent games.
In a newsletter to the families, Superintendent Dr Craig Tice stated that all Squid Game Halloween costumes had been banned. “Staff members have recently noted that some students at recess have been mimicking games from Squid Game”, his statement reads. “Because of this activity, our principals wanted to make sure our families are aware that it would be inappropriate for any student to wear to school a Halloween costume from this show because of the potential violent messages aligned with the costume.”
In the fictional story of Squid Game, contestants compete in typical childhood challenges, such as Red Light Green Light. However, if they fail in these games or lose to another player, they are killed as a result. Following the school district’s statements, Netflix issued a response, addressing the concerns about children mimicking the violent themes of the show.
Talking to Deadline a spokesperson for the streamer addressed the issue, saying: “Squid Game is rated TV-MA and intended for mature audiences. We offer parents a wide variety of parental controls to make the appropriate choices for their families.”
Created and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game has become a cultural phenomenon since releasing in September 2021. The popular show has broken records, beating Bridgerton and becoming Netflix’s most-watched series to date. It has inspired cultural centres to recreate (non-deadly) real-life versions of the games, and has also been used as the subject of multiple videogames.
Given its popularity, it makes sense how the show was, as Deadline reports, among the top ten Instagrammed Halloween looks this year. Currently, we are still waiting on news for Squid Game season 2. However, if you aren’t still in school, you can check out season one of the gory series, which is available on Netflix now.