The stars and creator of Netflix’s BEEF are breaking their silence after inflammatory comments from co-star David Choe resurfaced online.
“The story David Choe fabricated nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing,” stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong and creator Lee Sung Jin said in a statement to Vanity Fair. “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 — a graffiti artist who plays Isaac, the recently sprung ex-con cousin of Yeun’s character Danny, in the series — claimed on a 2014 podcast that he raped a massage therapist, saying that “the thrill of possibly going to jail” is what excited him and referring to himself as “a successful rapist.” The comments resurfaced on Buzzfeed last Friday as BEEF continues to receive critical acclaim following its release on the streamer earlier this month.
Choe denied allegations of rape in a statement following the podcast, claiming his story was intended to “challenge and provoke my friends and the co-stars on the show” and that he was only guilty of “bad storytelling.” He added that on the podcast, “we create stories and tell tales. It’s not a news show. It’s not a representation of my reality… I’m sorry if anyone believed that the stories were fact. They were not!”
BEEF stars Yeun and Wong as two strangers who are involved in a road rage incident that sends their lives spinning out of control. The 10-episode season debuted on Netflix on April 6; read our recap of the finale and post mortem with Yeun and Wong.