The creator and stars of the hit Netflix series “Beef” have broken their silence about the recent criticism of one of the show’s cast members, David Choe.
Choe, who plays the cousin of Steven Yeun’s character Danny in the show, came under fire earlier this week after a controversial podcast interview he gave in 2014 resurfaced on Twitter.
In the “DVDASA” podcast interview, he said that he had been a “successful rapist” during a massage, leading to outrage and calls for a boycott of the show.
“I’m getting turned on just telling this story,” he told co-host Asa Akira. “I just take her hand and I put it on my d*ck. She just holds it there.”
After sharing numerous sexual acts he purportedly engaged in, he concluded the story with: “The thrill of possibly going to jail, that’s what achieved the erection quest.”
“Ew, you’re basically telling us that you’re a rapist now and that the only way to get your d*ck really hard is rape,” Akira said.
After responding by saying “yeah,” Choe later said that he was, indeed, a “successful rapist.”
Choe reportedly recently filed DMCA notices to have the resurfaced videos removed from Twitter.
In a joint statement released on Friday, series creator Lee Sung Jin and stars Yeun and Ali Wong called Choe’s rape story “fabricated” but “undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing.”
The statement emphasized that he has apologized in the past and has worked to better himself over the last decade.
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. 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.
After facing immediate backlash when the interview was first released, Choe previously stated that the podcast was simply an “extension of my art as a storyteller.”
In 2017, he apologized and revealed that he had undergone three years of rehabilitation and recovery, maintaining that he has never sexually assaulted anyone.
The controversy may have not significantly hurt the popularity of “Beef,” which has climbed to No. 2 on Netflix’s Top 10 list of English-language shows with most hours viewed since its release on April 6.