‘BEEF’ Creator & Stars Respond to David Choe Controversy

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Not long after becoming a breakout hit for Netflix, the team behind the comedic thriller BEEF came under fire for the resurfaced old comments from one of the series cast members, David Choe. And now, stars Ali Wong, Steven Yeun, and creator Lee Sung Jin are finally responding to the backlash.

The comments from Choe, which occurred during a 2014 episode of Choe’s DVDASA podcast, included the actor joking about being a “successful rapist” while getting a massage. In a statement released to Variety, Wong, Yeun, and Jin condemned his “story” which they maintain their colleague “fabricated.”

“The story David Choe fabricated nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing,” they began. “We do not condone this story in any way, and we understand why this has been so upsetting and triggering. We’re aware David has apologized in the past for making up this horrific story, and we’ve seen him put in the work to get the mental health support he needed over the last decade to better himself and learn from his mistakes.”

Lee Sung Jin, Ali Wong, and Steven Yeun at the 'BEEF' Premiere

(Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

The podcast episode in question included Choe going into detail about an encounter with a massage therapist in which he said, “I just take her hand and I put it on my d**k. She just holds it there.” He went into more disturbing detail, which resulted in initial backlash almost a decade ago. At the time, Choe said his comments were “a complete extension of his art,” claiming it to be a fabrication as Wong, Yeun, and Jin refer to in their statement.

Choe further stated at the time, “I never thought I’d wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist. It sucks. Especially because I am not one. I am not a rapist. I hate rapists, I think rapists should be raped and murdered.” When the soundbites and clips of Choe’s podcast began circulating online again following the premiere of BEEF, they were removed through Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) with notices filed under the David Young Choe Foundation. The notices essentially flagged these videos as copyright infringement to have them removed.

BEEF debuted on April 6 and quickly became a top-billed program on Netflix, breaking the Top 10 list of English-language shows. Choe’s involvement extends beyond his role as Isaac, the criminal cousin to Yeun’s Danny, as he also painted title cards for all of the season’s episodes.

What do you think of the BEEF team’s response to Choe’s controversy? Sound off in the comments, below.

BEEF, Streaming now, Netflix

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