“Squid Game” might be a huge success for Netflix given the fact it shot up to the No. 1 spot in the U.S. on the streaming platform just four days after its release. However, the series has also drawn criticism for its violence, and one organization is cautioning parents to be on high alert in case their children find themselves perusing their feeds and pressing play.
The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) told Fox News its hoping to “alert parents” to the bevy of “Squid Game”-inspired content being uploaded across various media “so that they can take appropriate measures, whether by applying parental controls or more closely supervising their children on social media and gaming platforms, where content about or inspired by the series is being shared.”
In an op-ed published on the organization’s website Wednesday, the PTC’s program director, Melissa Henson, wrote that despite the mature rating attached to the “incredibly violent” show, an even greater concern “is the way ‘Squid Game’ is being promoted to viewers too young to watch the TV-MA-rated series on social media platforms.”
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“Netflix should be acting as a gatekeeper to ensure content that is harmful to minors is not being distributed on their platform,” she told Fox News, “and that also includes highly sexualized content like ‘Big Mouth’ and content that might inspire self-harm, like ‘13 Reasons Why.’”
“Squid Game” centers on a group of 456 people from all walks of life. Each of them has one thing in common: they are all in dire financial situations. As a result, they are all invited to participate in a series of children’s games such as “Red Light, Green Light” in the hopes of winning a massive cash prize.
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However, it quickly becomes apparent that the consequences for losing at any of these kids’ games is a brutal and untimely death.
The “Squid Game” hashtag has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times on TikTok, according to an NBC News report, and Henson maintained that minors, including “young teens and tweens are watching the series through online gaming platforms like Roblox and Minecraft.”
According to Fortune, “Squid Game” catapulted to No. 1 in the U.S. just four days after its release. It is expected to be seen by more than 82 million subscribers worldwide in its first 28 days.
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The outlet notes that, when compared to traditional TV, that’s more than the number of 18- to 49-year-olds estimated by Nielsen to have watched the 40 highest-rated broadcast and cable shows of the past year combined.
“Netflix needs to recognize that if it fails to self-regulate, it is inviting regulation from government agencies, and that may lead to worse outcomes for Netflix and for families,” Henson said.
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A rep for Netflix did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
FOX Business’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.