‘Beef’ stars Ali Wong, Steven Yeun address David Choe rape story controversy

‘Beef’ stars Ali Wong, Steven Yeun address David Choe rape story controversy

Beef stars Ali Wong, Steven Yeun address David Choe rape story controversy: ‘We’ve seen him put in the work’

Choe, an artist and actor, has come under fire for comments he made about sexual assault on a podcast in 2014.

Oliver Gettell


The creator and stars of the critically acclaimed Netflix series Beef have broken their silence on the controversy surrounding cast member David Choe and his graphic account on a podcast nearly a decade ago describing a sexual assault that he insists he made up.

Series creator Lee Sung Jin and stars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun said in a joint statement Friday, “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, “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.”

Produced by A24 and released on Netflix earlier this month, Beef was initially welcomed by critics and audiences, praised for bold storytelling and performances, and hailed as a stride for Asian American representation on screen. The series stars Yeun and Wong as Danny, a struggling contractor, and Amy, a wealthy entrepreneur, whose lives are consumed by a road rage incident; Choe plays Danny’s cousin Isaac, a volatile ex-con.

Steven Yeun, David Choe, and Ali Wong

Steven Yeun, David Choe, and Ali Wong

| Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Sentiment about the show began to curdle when remarks Choe made on his now-defunct DVDASA podcast back in 2014 resurfaced on social media. In an episode, Choe spoke of coercing a masseuse to perform oral sex on him. While he admitted to “rapey behavior,” he also maintained, “I am not a rapist.”

Choe — who is perhaps best known as a visual artist who made a fortune by painting a mural for a fledgling tech startup called Facebook — soon came under fire for his comments and issued a statement in which he again denied being a rapist, and said the podcast was “not a representation of my reality.”

The controversy has shadowed Choe since then, and he apologized in a statement posted to Instagram in 2017. He wrote in part, “Though I said those words, I did not commit those actions. It did not happen. I have ZERO history of sexual assault. I am deeply sorry for any hurt I’ve brought to anyone through my past words.”

EW has reached out to Netflix, A24, and Choe for comment.

Related content:


Beef (TV series)

Ali Wong and Steven Yeun star as two strangers whose lives erupt into chaos after a road rage incident.

Read More