Ever since Squid Game became an international sensation, Lydia Ellery, a popular Twitch streamer, has been losing work because companies are hesitant to work with her.
Lydia has been known as Squid Game on social media sites for 11 years, which far preceded the hit K-Drama of the same name. She is known as Squid Gaming on Twitter. She has over 42,000 followers on Twitch and is a member of Yogscast, a collective with over 7 million YouTube subscribers.
Lydia explained that her name was a reference to her friends’ nickname for her. “My friends called me squid because it rhymes with lid, and my name is Lydia.” However, now that her social media handle has taken on a different meaning, she has found herself losing work and facing online abuse.
Many of the brands Lydia did advertising work for have stopped working with her as a direct result of her online presence as Squid Game. She said, “The companies who were giving me this recent role specifically told me I didn’t get the work because of my Squid Game handle.”
Lydia said she believed companies were hesitant to work with her because Squid Game is an extremely violent show. In the K-Drama, people who are in debt play deadly versions of popular children’s games for money. She said, “I guess it’s the connotations of the show – it’s a very violent show, maybe it’s that?”
In addition to losing work, Lydia has also been facing online harassment from Squid Game fans. Many people wrongfully believed that she stole her social media handles from the K-Drama and sent her “abusive messages.” Some fans reported her accounts and some even tried to hack them.
Although she’s built up a following as Squid Game over the past decade, Lydia is considering changing her name due to the K-Drama’s negative impact on her work. In addition to losing brand deals and facing online harassment, she’s noticed that her SEO (search engine optimization) has been “completely messed up” because the K-Drama has taken over the search results for the term “Squid Game.”