'Beef' Creators Release Statement on David Choe Controversy

'Beef' Creators Release Statement on David Choe Controversy

BYDan Q. DaoApr 24, 2023

The creators of Netflix's Beef have broken their silence on the David Choe sexual assault controversy.

On Friday, the show's creator Lee Sung Jin and its stars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun released a short joint statement to Vanity Fair, saying, “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."

Their comments come as a clip from Choe's own podcast DVDASA made the rounds on the internet earlier this month. In the clip, which has been reposted on Twitter, the actor and graffiti artist tells co-host Asa Akira that he sexually assaulted a Black massage therapist in 2014.

At the time the clip first went viral nine years ago, Choe took to his website to say the clip was a case of "bad storytelling," writing, "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."

With the instant popularity and critical acclaim behind Beef, which was released earlier this month, the clip has gotten widespread attention — with many seeing it for the first time. Following the statement, fans were surprised that Wong and Yeun were previously aware of Choe's comments, yet chose to hire him anyways.

"We're aware David has apologized in the past for making up this horrific story," the statement from the creators continued. "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."

Others were displeased by the brevity of the response, the use of the word "fabricated," and most significantly, its seeming defense of Choe. "People are saying Steven Yeun and Ali Wong shouldn’t have released that statement and I disagree. I’m glad they did," wrote one user. "Because now I know exactly how they feel (about Black women)."

Adding fuel to the fire, Choe have tried to have the video scrubbed from social media, claiming copyright ownership over the clip. One user, who posted the video and had his account locked, shared screenshots of the complaint written by Choe's team. The 47-year-old has not commented publicly on the current controversy.

Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Netflix