The creators of Netflix’s «Beef» have broken their silence amid controversy surrounding the casting of David Choe, whose 2014 comments about self-proclaimed «rape behavior» have resurfaced. He has since claimed that the story was a fabrication.
Show creator Lee Sung Jin and executive producers Ali Wong and Steven Yeun released a joint statement to Vanity Fair, apparently defending Choe while condemning his previous comments.
“The story that David Choe invented nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing. We do not condone this story in any way, and we understand why it has been so upsetting and triggering,» the three said in the statement released Friday. “We are aware that David has apologized in the past for making up this horrible story, and we have seen him work to get the mental health support he needed over the last decade to improve and learn from his mistakes.”
Yeun and Wong have not responded to multiple requests for comment from NBC News. Netflix has not commented. A24, the studio that produced the show, has not responded to a request for comment.
The show began drawing backlash after clips resurfaced showing Choe telling a graphic story about a masseuse on her now-defunct DVDASA podcast after the season premiere earlier this month. Her comments have been criticized for describing rape and sexual assault.
Choe, best known for his work as a graffiti artist, has not responded to multiple requests for comment from NBC News. After first receiving criticism for the podcast episode in 2014, he issued a statement denying any veracity to the story. Choe wrote that the podcast is “a complete extension of my art.
“I never thought I would wake up one afternoon and hear someone call me a rapist. it sucks. Especially since I’m not one. I am not a rapist. I hate rapists,” she wrote in 2014. statement. His response was reported by multiple news outlets at the time, which was posted on the podcast’s now-defunct website.
When the incident resurfaced in 2017, Choe said in a statement that he «aired a story simply for shock.»
“Although I said those words, I did not commit those actions. It didn’t happen,” she said at the time.
many have criticized the show’s decision to cast Choe, as well as Yeun and Wong’s involvement in the process. Choe said on «The Joe Rogan Experience» podcast that the couple, who also star in the show, had presented him with the opportunity to be on the series. The show marked his first big foray into acting.
Further discussions about Choe’s behavior continued after critical tweets, which included clips from the podcast, were removed from Twitter on Sunday after they were tagged with a «report copyright holder» notice.
An email obtained by NBC News, sent from Twitter and addressed to Meecham Whitson Meriweather, one of two social media users whose tweets were removed, listed Choe as the copyright holder and the party who had requested the removal. .
Meriweather, a New York-based culture writer, previously told NBC News that he was disappointed in the handling of the controversy. He added that removing the tweets is an example of silencing those who condemn problematic behavior.
«I think there’s really only one way to do it … which is to take responsibility and then move on without him,» Meriweather said. “The thing is, everyone knew about it. It was complicity. How do you really get on with it when you’re part of the problem?