Netflix’s newest series Beef has attracted audiences for it’s comedic and thrilling exploration of how far petty can go when one has unresolved anger issues and socio-economic disparities. Since its recent release, it has become the streaming platform’s most watched show to date. Since an Asian led-cast, its success has been especially groundbreaking for representation of Asians in the film space.

However, all of this has been marred by the revelation over the past weekend of the distasteful remarks from comedian David Choe—who plays Isaac Cho in the film that have surfaced and have given fans pause over his casting. In an old episode of the podcast that he hosted, Choe is heard detailing an experience in which he exhibited beyond inappropriate behavior with a “half Black, half white” massage therapist. He shared that he had an erection during the treatment and performed sexual acts in front of the massage therapist whom he named Rose. He continued to elaborate on his excitement over the potential of being caught in this act. He mentioned that he was aroused by the “the thrill of possibly going to jail.”

“It's dangerous and it's super self-destructive. I'm at a place and there's potential for a lawsuit... and she has given me no signs that she's into me or that this is appropriate behavior. In my head I go, 'Do you care if I jerk off right now?' and it sounds so creepy in my head that I go I can't say that out loud ... So I go back to the chill method of you never ask first; you just do it, get in trouble and then pay the price later,” recounts Choe in the podcast. 

He continues, “...So I just start jerking off. So then her hands gets off my leg and she just stops ... I go 'Look I'm sorry I can't help myself—can you just pretend like I'm not doing this and you continue with the massage?' And she's like 'All right' and she does ... I'm like 'Can I touch your butt?' and I reach out and touch her butt and she pulls away. She doesn't want me to touch her butt.”

At the time of the episode's airing in 2014, many expressed their discontent over the comments. Choe stated that the story was a fabrication, was “rapey behavior” and he walked back ever participating in something like that. Now, the perception of Choe’s role in the show has been soured with the recirculation of this controversy. 

This ordeal has summoned the questioning of separating the personal lives from artists and, even further, why those with questionable pasts continue to overcome the casting protocols over those who are unproblematic. Although the clips remain on social media, many Twitter accounts have been locked for tweeting about the situation in any manner. His Beef co-stars Steven Yuen (Nope) and Ali Wong (Always Be My Maybe) have yet to speak out about the controversy.