Being a Black woman is hard. Navigating society knowing your life has little value to it because you’re not white or a man is frustrating. But it’s even worse knowing your life or existence can be a punchline, too. That’s the case for Black women regarding David Choe, who also stars in the hit show Beef, on Netflix. Choe shares the spotlight with Ali Wong (Tuca and Bertie), and Steven Yeun ( Invincible), who are both executive producers of the series. As the Netflix series Beef remains on their Top 10, a storm of anger, hurt, and silence swirls online after a video resurfaced of Choe admitting he raped a Black woman. David Choe is just another person cashing in on misogynoir to solidify his place in Hollywood.
How David Choe used misogynoir to get to Hollywood
The clip that’s circulating shows Choe recounting in disgusting detail how, when given a massage by a Black woman, he sexually assaulted her. The disconnect that Choe’s remarks possess is akin to Republicans’ pro-life stance while pressuring their mistresses to have an abortion. On Beefy, Choe plays Yeun’s violent, erratic cousin. The show initially garnered lots of praise, but ever since the 2014 podcast resurfaced again that’s all anyone can talk about online. In it, Choe talks about receiving a massage from a Black woman and assaulting her, going so far as to dub himself “a successful rapist.”
After pushback during that time, he released a statement and declared, “I never thought I’d wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist. It sucks.” Imagine that? The man who bragged about raping a Black woman, who proudly named himself a rapist, suddenly balks at the label sticking. Sure, he repeatedly claims the story is not real and was “bad storytelling,” but why is a story about harming a Black woman trying to do her job so funny? Because Black women are the demographic, you can victimize, belittle, and dehumanize, and still walk away unscathed and thriving, as evidenced by the fact that almost a decade later and Choe gets to be on a top Netflix series.
Hollywood remains silent when the victims are Black women
It’s about being Black and being a woman. When Jonathan Majors’s assault allegations first surfaced, people in the industry took to social media to express their anger. Meanwhile, Choe, who is not Black crowed about his horrific actions toward a Black woman, and many of those same people are silent. They are vocal when it’s a Black perpetrator, but when the victim is Black, especially a Black woman, it’s time to separate the art from the artist. This is why there is no meaningful change in Hollywood or elsewhere.
Each time people use their money and time to watch these shows or movies, they are telling Hollywood it’s a-okay to hire abusers. They ignore or don’t care that their money gives these predators more power, making them a hotter commodity in Hollywood, which means more people around them shielding them from accountability. Weinstein wasn’t cast aside for being a predator. Hollywood cast him out because he was going to cost everyone money. He was no longer an asset worth shielding.
I cannot confidently say that Netflix, Ali Wong, and Steven Yeun knew of Choe’s past. I know I did not. But then, I’m not his friend. Nor am I a big company with a staff capable to vet cast and crew before hiring. Choe might be silent on Twitter, but it appears he’s making moves as multiple Twitter accounts that shared the video of Choe’s confession or bad storytelling—take your pick—are being locked because of a DMCA takedown. Since the video resurfaced, Ali Wong has locked her tweets. No words out of any camp, and many outlets are still celebrating Beef.