Beef David Choe drama

What is the drama surrounding Netflix show Beef?

By Olivia Richman


Apr 22, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

Netflix’s new drama Beef has been getting a lot of attention as of late, largely for its raw emotional moments and dark humor. But lately the cast has been under fire after a controversial video resurfaced of David Choe making questionable comments about sexual assault.

David Choe plays Isaac, an ex-con that continues to create troublesome situations in Beef, created and produced by Lee Sung Jin. The show has been getting rave reviews, but Lee recently issued a statement to Vanity Fair regarding a clip of Choe from a 2014 podcast. So what exactly did Choe say?

What did David Choe do that got him in trouble?

In the viral clip that has resurfaced online, Choe is on a podcast discussing a time when he allegedly performed sexual acts in front of and with a masseuse. He said that what gave him an erection at the time was the “threat of going to jail.”

In response, the woman on the podcast accused Choe of being a rapist, clearly disturbed by his possible admission. He replied that he’s a “successful rapist” and the men went on to discuss the appearance of the masseuse, much to her disgust.

The concerning clip has started to make its rounds now that Beef has been released and getting a lot of buzz. This forced Lee to make a statement about Choe’s appearance in the podcast.

“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,” he said to Vanity Fair.

“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.”

This is not the first time that Choe has been under fire for his statements on the podcast. In 2014, Choe told BuzzFeed News that the story was fabricated. He apologized again in 2017 when a mural he painted in New York City was defaced with the word “rapist” in reaction to the clip. At the time, Choe said that he was a “sick person” at the time of this incident.

Choe wrote on Instagram: “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. Non-consensual sex is rape and it is never funny or appropriate to joke about.”

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Despite Lee’s statement and Choe’s apology, many have called for Beef to be canceled or demanded Choe be replaced. Some questioned on social media why “predators” keep getting hired. Even if Choe was making up a story, a lot of people were disturbed at everyone laughing and making light of such a scenario.

Netflix has not responded to the backlash. Choe has also been silent this time around.