This post contains mentions of rape.
David Choe, who plays Isaac in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Beef, has come under fire after comments he made in 2014 about sexually assaulting a woman have resurfaced. Beef is a comedy-drama miniseries that premiered on Netflix on April 6, with the show starring Steven Yeun and Ali Wong as strangers who become enemies after a road-rage incident. The show has been highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, with Beef currently holding a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
On Twitter last Thursday, Center for Investigative Reporting writer Aura Bodago (via Variety) posted a clip from “Erection Quest,” an episode from Choe’s podcast DVDASA, where he tells guests about an incident in which he received a massage from a therapist named Rose. Going into graphic detail, Choe describes how he forced the massage therapist to perform oral sex on him, to which his co-host Asa Akira says, “You raped [her].” Choe jokes that he’s “a successful rapist” and that he loves “the thrill of possibly going to jail.”
The Backlash Against Netflix & The Beef Cast Explained
After Bogado posted the clip to Twitter, Choe reportedly complained to Twitter that it was a copyright violation, and the site took the video down. In response, Bogado has continued to address rape culture and post proof of Choe’s involvement in having the podcast clip removed. Choe made a response to the episode back in 2014, as he was also receiving backlash for it then, and stated that “I am not a rapist. I hate rapists, I think rapists should be raped and murdered.” He claimed the story was fabricated for comedic purposes.
As the comments were made in 2014, and Choe was held accountable for his words then, the DVDASA episode was very much in the public eye. Beef fans have now taken to calling out Netflix, the show’s casting directors, and Wong and Yeun for even hiring Choe in the first place when his sexual assault story was out in the open. Many Twitter users have stated that if Beef is to have a season 2, they won’t be watching, and that what was once an entertaining series is now something they will never interact with again.
Though Choe made a lengthy statement back when the podcast episode was first released, his response was dismissive, and he didn’t take responsibility for his actions. While neither Netflix nor the cast and crew of Beef have responded to this backlash, Wong has since made her Twitter account private, and fans are awaiting some kind of acknowledgment from the team. Whether or not Choe’s backlash will affect a potential Beef season 2 is unknown.