Netflix’s new show, Beef, seems like a funny road-rage-fueled comedic time. However, it also manages to tackle the generational impact of living as an Asian American in the modern United States.
Its fresh new take and comedic approach had many, especially those of Asian descent, looking forward to seeing some honest representation of their upbringing portrayed on screen.
Add in the stacked cast, and the new series seemed primed to be yet another mega-hit for the streaming service.
The series brought in several levels of talent, including The Walking Dead icon Steven Yeun and comedian Ali Wong.
However, among the sea of impressive talent, some were shocked when controversial artist David Choe appeared on-screen.
Choe’s character, as Steven Yeun’s unhinged cousin Isaac, was a wildcard with plenty of on-screen rage.
Given his questionable past actions, his appearance in the show has some wavering in their support of the project.
David Choe’s appearance in Netflix’s show, Beef, is stained with controversy
Since its launch on the streaming platform, many have weighed in with their thoughts and opinions on the series, some good and some…not so great.
One of the biggest “beefs” with Beef seems to be David Choe’s involvement after once claiming to have sexually assaulted a woman in a massage parlor.
The shocking story was first told by David himself when speaking with his podcast co-host Asa Akira on their now-ended podcast, DVDASA.
In the 2014 episode, David recalled, much to his co-host’s horror, a story in which he claimed to have forced a black female masseuse into non-consensual sexual acts while receiving her services.
At the time, Choe stated that he was aware the woman wasn’t interested in his advances but that he continued to pressure her regardless.
Following his confession, Asa, an adult film actress herself, let Choe know his actions were unacceptable.
“You’re basically telling us that you’re a r****t right now,” she said.
After receiving plenty of backlash following the podcast episode’s release, Choe backpedaled his story and claimed it was completely fabricated in a written statement.
“It’s my version of reality, it’s art that sometimes offends people. I’m sorry if anyone believed that the stories were fact. They were not!” the statement read, in part.
Netflix and Choe have yet to respond to the recent resurgence of outrage surrounding his initial story.
David Choe’s story and involvement in Beef have left some viewers disappointed
While some viewers have seemingly been able to overlook Choe’s previous transgressions, others were left utterly disappointed by his presence in an otherwise impressive show.
According to journalist Iris Kim for Huffpost, Choe’s previous stories made it “almost impossible to separate the art from the artist.”
According to Kim, each time Choe’s character lashed out on-screen, she was left wondering how much of it was an act and what portion, if any, was Choe’s own aggressive behavior.
Others on social media shared their own thoughts on the situation, and very few are holding back.
“Next semester I’ll be teaching Asian American literature,” one Twitter user shared. “I was going to assign #BEEFNetflix. Not anymore. Those responsible for hiring David Choe did a huge disservice to the community, to survivors, to themselves. We can do better. We must!”
Another Twitter user called out those who are attempting to separate the art from the artist.
In addition to the conversations surrounding the harm Choe’s stories have caused, some users took the opportunity to also point out how Choe’s claims, true or not, perpetuate violence against women — specifically Black women.
Choe has also been accused of having Twitter users locked out of their accounts when attempting to share the video clip from the podcast episode on the grounds of Copyright infringement.
Given the severity of his claims, it’s unlikely this issue will be swept under the rug, though Choe may desperately hope for it to disappear.