Been Watching 'Beef' on Netflix? The Scandal Involving a Main Character, Explained

Melissa Willets - Author

Apr. 24 2023, Published 10:35 a.m. ET

David Choe stands on the red carpet at the 'Beef' premiere in 2023.
Source: Getty Images

Content warning: This article covers topics of sexual assault.

If you've been watching Beef on Netflix, you know that one of the show's main characters, Isaac Cho, is a controversial figure. The formerly incarcerated cousin of Danny Cho (Steven Yeun) acts as a bad influence just as the unstable contractor tries to get his life back on track.

In real life, David Choe, who plays Isaac, is in hot water due to past comments that have resurfaced — and they aren't sitting well with fans.

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What did David say that has Beef viewers so upset? We have all the details below as well as how the series' creators, including Ali Wong, who portrays unhinged Amy Lau, are reacting to the cringeworthy scandal surrounding their popular show.

What is the scandal surrounding 'Beef' on Netflix?

David Choe wearing a mushroom hoodie at the "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" premiere on Aug. 16, 2021
Source: Getty Images

Deeply unsettling comments David made during a 2014 podcast interview have come back to haunt the actor as his star is on the rise following the premiere of Beef on Netflix.

According to Variety, David joked he was a “successful rapist” during a massage. He went into great detail about the incident, but later claimed it was made up.

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In 2017, the actor took to Instagram to offer a detailed mea culpa for his words, writing in part, "I relayed a story simply for shock value that made it seem as if I had sexually violated a woman. Though I said those words, I did not commit those actions. It did not happen. I have ZERO history of sexual assault."

"I am deeply sorry for any hurt I’ve brought to anyone through my past words," the Beef star continued in his social media statement. "Non-consensual sex is rape and it is never funny or appropriate to joke about. I was a sick person at the height of my mental illness, and have spent the last three years in mental health facilities healing myself and dedicating my life to helping and healing others through love and action. I do not believe in the things I have said although I take full ownership of saying them."

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Recently, Beef's creator, Lee Sung Jin, in conjunction with Ali and Steven, who star in the show and serve as executive producers, addressed the scandal

The 'Beef' creator and its stars condemn David's past comments.

In a joint statement, Beef's creator, Ali, and Steven said, "The story David Choe fabricated nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing."

They went on to emphasize, "We do not condone this story in any way, and we understand why this has been so upsetting and triggering."

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"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 concluded.

'Beef' fans aren't fully satisfied with the statement about the scandal.

Although David has apologized and his co-stars and the creator of Beef have addressed the scandal, fans of the show may not feel that those efforts go far enough to make things right.

Many viewers took to social media following the statement to share their thoughts.

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At time of writing, David hasn't addressed the scandal further. Instead, his social media states in part that he had "the time of [his] life" making Beef. He also said he "had so much fun!"

If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.

If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.

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