“Beef” stars Ali Wong, Steven Yeun and series creator Lee Sung Jin have broken their silence on David Choe‘s controversial “rape” comments from 2014.
On Friday the creative trio behind “Beef” released a joint statement to Vanity Fair condemning Choe’s claims that he raped a massage therapist.
“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 said.
In a 2014 episode of his now-defunct “DVDASA” podcast, Choe recalled sexually assaulting a biracial massage therapist named Rose.
Choe said he placed the therapist’s hand on his genitals without her consent and he forced her into oral sex.
When co-host Asa Akira said to Choe, “you raped,” he responded, “yeah.” He also called himself a “successful rapist.”
Choe’s comments resurfaced earlier this month after he played a significant role in Netflix’s “Beef” opposite stars Wong and Yeun, who also serve as executive producers.
“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,” the statement continued.
In 2014, Choe apologized for his comments and claimed, “I am not a rapist,” according to BuzzFeed News.
“I hate rapists, I think rapists should be raped and murdered,” he said. “I am an artist and a storyteller, and I view my show ‘DVDASA’ as a complete extension of my art.”
Choe continued: “If I am guilty of anything, it’s bad storytelling in the style of douche. Just like many of my paintings are often misinterpreted, the same goes with my show.”
In recent weeks, clips of Choe’s 2014 comments made the rounds on social media. But the Los Angeles artist reportedly took action to have them taken down.
Two Twitter users said their videos were removed from Twitter, citing a copyright violation. Reporter Aura Bogado, whose post of Choe’s comments was removed from Twitter, said Choe’s nonprofit, the David Young Choe Foundation, owns the rights to the controversial clip.
Choe has not publicly addressed the renewed backlash and did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Friday.