HomeAAPI Actors'Beef' wins five Emmys, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong first-time winners

‘Beef’ wins five Emmys, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong first-time winners

“Beef” won big at the Emmys on Monday night.

The Netflix limited series won five primetime Emmys during the ceremony, bringing its total number of Emmy wins to eight. The show had previously received three Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards earlier this month.

On Monday, the series received awards for:

  • Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, Steven Yeun
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, Ali Wong
  • Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, Lee Sung Jin
  • Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series, Lee Sung Jin

The series follows Danny Cho (Yeun) and Amy Lau (Wong), two strangers whose worlds collide after a road rage incident.

“Wow, thank you. You know, a lot of the suicidal ideation in this show was based on stuff that I and some of the folks up here have struggled with over the years,” Lee said while accepting the award for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. “So I’m really grateful and humbled by everyone who watched the show and reached out about their own personal struggles. It’s very life-affirming, so, thank you.”

Lee kicked off the show’s evening of victory, accepting the win for outstanding directing.

“You know, when I first moved to LA my bank account went to the negative by 63 cents. So I had to deposit a dollar bill into my account to avoid the overdraft fee, And the ATM screen said, ‘Are you sure you want to deposit $1?’ And I was like, ‘No,'” Lee joked during his acceptance speech.

“I wasn’t sure of anything back then,” he continued. “I certainly wasn’t sure of holding something like this. It’s really a testament to the amazing people that have been so blessed to be around.”

When he accepted the speech for Outstanding Writing, he thanked the writers.

“I want to say thank you to the writers. We wrote this over Zoom, which is the healthiest way to communicate and thank you for powering through that,” he said.

Lee also gave credit to his colleagues, specifically noting that Grace Yun and Larkin Seiple should have been included alongside his name.

Steven Yeun and Ali Wong won their first Emmys, taking home the Lead Actor and Lead Actress awards. In his speech, Yeun spoke about the difficulties he faced playing Danny.

“I want to I want to thank Andrew Cooper for talking to me one night, our incredible onset photographer, a legend. There were days when it was difficult to live in Danny’s skin. Sometimes I wanted to judge him. Sometimes I wanted to make fun of them. And he pulled me aside and he’s like, ‘Never bail on Danny.’ And thanks,” Yeun said.

“I want to say thank you to Danny for teaching me that judgment and, and, shame is a lonely place, but compassion and grace is where we can all meet,” he added.

Wong became the first Asian woman to win an Emmy for a lead role. She paid tribute to her family, specifically her father who passed away several years ago

“I wouldn’t be standing here without my parents my amazing parents my my mother and my father who I so wish was alive to share this moment with me my hilarious father who loved me unconditionally and taught me the value of failure,” Wong said. “And to my beautiful daughters Marya, Nikki. You are my everything and thank you for inspiring me. And this is for you. Thank you.”

“Beef” has been lauded by critics, fans and fellow industry members, but for many the wins have left a sour taste in their mouths.

Shortly after the series was released on Netflix in April 2023, comments one of the series’ actors David Choe had made on a 2014 podcast episode resurfaced. In the episode, Choe describes sexually assaulting a massage therapist. The disturbing story was allegedly fabricated for a joke.

A24 producers and Beef showrunners (including Lee, Wong and Yeun) released a statement to 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.”

They added that they believed Choe was learning from his mistakes.

“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.”

The statement was criticized for its protection of Choe. Many people have refused to support the show since.

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