jakub | April 22, 2023

‘Beef’ cast and creator address David Choe rape controversy

The stars and creator of Netflix hit series Beef have released a statement in response to controversy surrounding comments made by cast member David Choe.

Following the release of the black comedy series to extremely positive feedback, a 2014 clip from Choe’s now-defunct podcast surfaced in which he talked about sexually assaulting a massage therapist. He later apologised for the story and claimed that it was untrue and relayed solely for the purpose of entertainment.

“If I am guilty of anything, it’s bad storytelling in the style of douche,” he said at the time “Just like many of my paintings are often misinterpreted, the same goes with my [podcast]. The main objective of all of my podcasts is to challenge and provoke my friends and the co-stars on the show.”

Yesterday (April 21), Beef‘s showrunner Lee Sung Jin and principal cast members Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, who play main characters Danny Cho and Amy Lau respectively, gave a statement to Variety responding to the controversy.

David Choe
2PMCTXC BEEF, David Choe, ‘The Birds Don’t Sing, They Screech in Pain’, (Season 1, ep. 101, aired April 6, 2023). photo: Andrew Cooper /©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

“The story David Choe fabricated nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing,” they said. “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.”

Choe did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

In the series, Yeun and Wong star as two feuding enemies who end up in a war stemming from a road rage incident. Choe plays Yeun’s cousin Isaac.

An official synopsis reads: “Beef follows the aftermath of a road rage incident between two strangers. Danny Cho, a failing contractor with a chip on his shoulder, goes head-to-head with Amy Lau, a self-made entrepreneur with a picturesque life.

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