A TV show’s success can often be measured by how many people dress up as the main characters for Halloween. After Squid Game became Netflix’s hit Korean drama, trending news reports estimated many viewers will dress up in red jumpsuits and green tracksuits like the guards and players for Halloween. But, Squid Game also became popular among young audiences and has a school district banning costumes based on the drama.
In one New York school district, schools are taking precautions. They are banning students from dressing up as any of the characters due to Squid Game’s graphic and violent storyline and scenes. While parents do not 100% agree, the schools’ decisions has a deeper purpose.
‘Squid Game’ is a bloody battle to win the ultimate prize seeped in social inequality
The reason Squid Game became such a worldwide phenomenon is because of its deep meaning about the gap between he rich and the poor. The drama also uses childhood games in an innovative way for 456 players to win millions in a cash prize. K-dramas are not new to the small-screen, but Hwang Dong-hyuk’s drama upped the danger, blood and deadly circumstances.
In the “Red Light, Green Light” game, a robotic doll eliminated more than half the players with strategic gunfire. The fatal consequences of each game get worse and worse. Squid Game and Hang did not shy away from the blood the players shed in efforts to win. A simple childhood game like Tug-of-War instead has the player fall to their immediate death.
Three Syracuse schools ban ‘Squid Game’ costumes for Halloween
According to CBS New York, three elementary schools near Syracuse enacted a new rule for this Halloween. Students are not allowed to dress up as Squid Game characters due to the violent message the drama portrays. The Halloween costumes consists of red jumpsuits and masks like the guards and green tracksuits the 456 players wear. According to The Fayetteville-Manlius district, the costumes “do not meet our school costume guidelines due to the potential violent message aligned with the costume.”
Squid Game has been described for having violent scenes and is not appropriate for many age groups. CBS New York interviewed parents who believe the school district is overreacting and the new rule is overbearing. But the school district calls it a “slippery slope.” Costumes can be interpreted in different ways like a pirate costume or dressing up as Ghostface.
The school district reveals one of the main reasons for the ban. Across the country, children have been mimicking the games from the K-drama. “One of the things we’ve been hearing about in school districts all across the country, is children coming to school and playing squid games on the playground. It’s never appropriate to play at harming one another and that really is the guiding principle here,” said Dr. Joseph Ricca.
South Koreans dress a the K-drama guards to protest work conditions
Squid Game is no only taking over Halloween and costumes, but protests. CBS News reported South Koreans took to the streets dressed as the K-drama guards during a rally against the government’s labor policies on Oct.20. Hwang wanted the K-drama to represent the worldwide gap between the rich and the poor, as well as South Koreas economic collapse since 2008.
South Koreans felt the K-drama accurately represented the dark reality the country faces. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) made Squid Game their central theme for their rallies. Thousands of citizens protested in public asking for government support for labor unions. KCTU called for an end to unstable employment contracts and to change laws that fail to protect employees in small companies. Squid Game depicted various elements of society from foreign workers being swindled out of their pay like Ali (Anupam Tripathi), surmountable debt and the greed of the wealthy.