Why Squid Game viewers are furious at Player 278 - but others are defending her 'selfish' decision

Player 278, Ashley, caused a stir among fans of the competition

Squid Game The Challenge Player 278
(Image credit: Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023)

Player 278 from Squid Game: The Challenge has been branded a 'coward' by viewers after the Glass Bridge controversy in episode seven, which led to the downfall of player 301 - a fan favourite of the game show. 

Viewers will recognise the Glass Bridge Challenge from Netflix's original Squid Game where the objective is to cross the 'glass' bridge by choosing the correct panel and risking elimination if the choice is wrong. During the competition, Player 278 - whose real name is Ashley - refused to agree to a teamwork strategy that the other players had decided to try. Ultimately, it meant that player 301 - Trey, who initially joined the show alongside his mum - took a number of jumps forward, only to land on a fateful square which led to his elimination.

So what actually went down in episode seven? Before they started the game, the majority of players agreed that to make it fair, players would overtake one another to ensure that everyone only had to make one nervous guess about which glass panel would eliminate them. Player 301 (Trey) – who was given number '3' in Glass Bridge – was overtaken by Player 077 (Marina). However, when Player 077 chose the wrong panel and was immediately eliminated, Player 278 (Ashley) refused to overtake him. Eventually, he took a number of leaps forward until a snap decision led him to the elimination pit. 

Ashley said in a voiceover: "I'm confused as hell because I don’t remember agreeing to this. I’m not sacrificing myself when I already have a low number. If it comes to me having to stand on one spot until y’all ass move past me and that’s the best thing for me, then that’s what I’m going to do."

Viewers have taken to social media to show their anger over Player 278's actions, with one writing: "Player 278 was shady for how she did to Player 301… only for her to be a coward after 1 jump…"

Another said: "Player 278 is an absolute coward."

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However, not everyone has been so damning of Ashley's behaviour, with some Squid Games viewers calling her actions 'brave' and reiterating that the game is about 'selfishness'. 

One SGTC fan wrote on X: "She is brave enough to make decisions for herself, despite making friends - it’s still a game about selfishness."

While another said: "At the end of the day, players entered a competition to win 1 prize, so I understand 278 not wanting to be a team player for the glass challenge plus let’s be real, she never opened her mouth and agreed when everyone else was discussing the strategy."

Another wrote: "Player 278 is a selfish person, but I blame the person or people that went ahead of her. I don’t need to get to the end before knowing she won’t win it."

Who is Player 278 from Squid Game: The Challenge?

Player 278: Netflix Squid Games The Challenge - The Glass Bridge

(Image credit: Netflix)

Player 278, whose real name is Ashley, is a player on Squid Games: The Challenge. Ashley has come under some real heat for her decision not to take part in the Glass Bridge Challenge. 

We learn in the series that 30-year-old Ashley is a legal investigator from Georgia, US. On the Netflix website, her description reads: "Ashley is a legal investigator who speaks Chinese and loves puzzles. She plans on forming alliances and being extremely observant."

In response to the controversy surrounding the Glass Bridge Challenge, Ashley wrote on Instagram: "But you agreed to blah blah Team blah blah overtake blah blah blah' now can y'all please stfu. I never agreed to shit, but I did get up there and do what worked for ME! These people are OBSESSED with me, they literally have to find my page to TELL me their opinion because what I think of their opinions matter so much!"

Again, the reaction was mixed, with some fans supporting Ashley by writing: "hahahahaha I LOVED you so much you literally said everything I was thinking."

While another said: "Shoutout to you for doing what was best for your individual game! Regardless what the haters say, you definitely made the move you needed to in order to survive the bridge and that’s something to be proud of!"

But others still condemned her behaviour, with another viewer commenting: "Then why didn’t you keep moving forward after he fell? You told someone to overtake you, seemingly *agreeing* to the plan when you were in the first position."

To which Ashley herself replied: "Plain and simple. Because it benefited ME! It's not rocket science. I did what worked for ME."

Squid Games: The Challenge is available to stream on Netflix now.

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.

She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.