HomeAAPI ActorsNetflix's Beef team faces backlash after backing David Choe's role
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Netflix’s Beef team faces backlash after backing David Choe’s role

Content Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.

Shortly after Netflix’s newest hit series Beef dropped, clips from 2014 resurfaced of actor David Choe making disturbing comments about rape on a podcast. 

Beef creators and stars addressed the controversy in a statement on Friday and sparked an intense debate over hiring David Choe in a pivotal supporting role. Their response is leaving many fans disappointed and angry, according to The LAist.  

In the statement released exclusively to Vanity Fair, creator Lee Sung Jin and stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong denounced Choe’s actions on his now discontinued podcast, DVDASA, where he discussed in disturbing detail how he sexually assaulted a massage therapist. He later claimed he made the story up for comedic purposes.

A24 producers and Beef showrunners told Vanity Fair, “The story David Choe fabricated nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing. We do not condone this story in any way, and we understand why this has been so upsetting and triggering.”

The team added their support for Choe’s progress over the course of his time working with them. 

“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.”

Fans are torn since the released statement, especially with Yeun and Wong who are repeatedly praised for being trailblazers in AAPI entertainment. Many are questioning the actor’s judgments especially since their prior works touched on stories of sexual assault.  

Originally posted by xoJane then reported on Buzzfeed after getting deleted, Choe recounted to his then co–host, Asa Akira, that the incident was “rapey” but firmly claimed that he was not a rapist.  The LAist said Choe described the victim as “half Black, half white” in his allegedly fabricated anecdote. 

Writers and activists on Twitter found Cho’s comments intolerable, satirical or not, for being racist and triggering for SA survivors. 

Journalists Aura Bogado and Meecham Whitson Meriweather both posted clips of the episode, “Erection Quest,” on Twitter where Choe called himself a “successful rapist.” According to Variety, the writers say both videos were taken down on Sunday because of  Digital Millenium Copyright Acts (DMCA) motioned by David Choe and his team. Twitter locked both accounts shortly after. 

With DMCA violations constantly occurring, Bogado took to TikTok to post the podcast clips and multiple others discussing acts of sexual violence. Bogado posted an audio recording of one episode posted before March 2014 where Yeun guest starred on two episodes of DVDASA. 

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