Skip to main content
Arts & Entertainment

‘Beef’ co-star faces renewed criticism for self-described ‘rapey behavior’

David Choe attends the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 6, 2022, in Santa Monica. | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The internet has some serious beef with David Choe. The street artist—who famously took stock instead of cash for his murals at Facebook’s headquarters and currently co-stars with SF native Ali Wong in the new critically acclaimed Netflix series Beef—is under fire after Twitter users rediscovered a 2014 podcast interview in which Choe calls himself a “successful rapist.”

In a clip of the interview, surfaced by investigative journalist Aura Bogado from Choe’s now-defunct podcast DVDASA (which refers to a pornographic sex act), Choe recounts in graphic detail a sexual encounter with a massage therapist to his co-host and porn performer Asa Akira. In the clip reviewed by Vice’s Motherboard verticle, Choe describes forcing a masseuse to touch his penis and coercing her into performing oral sex. 

David Choe attends the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's "Beef" at Tudum Theater in Hollywood on March 30, 2023. | Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic via Getty Images

“You’re basically telling us that you’re a rapist right now, and the only way to get your dick hard is rape,” Akira responded. To which Choe replied, “Yeah.” 

“I just want to make it clear that I admit that that’s rapey behavior,” Choe also said on the podcast. “But I am not a rapist.”

In a 2014 statement about the incident, Choe said that the anecdote was a fabrication and piece of “bad storytelling,” writing, “I am not a rapist. I hate rapists. I think rapists should be raped and murdered.”

A self-described “liar,” “thief” and “gambler” Choe often attributes his outrageous and provocative remarks to his persona as an artist and “unreliable narrator,” and his FX show The Choe Show has been described as  “part interview, part performance art and part therapy session.” 

But the internet is not taking any of Choe’s words lightly, with online commentators calling Choe’s resurfaced comments “horrific & violent.” 

The Beef star has since issued take-down requests of the clip posted to social media, citing copyright infringement, and the clip has been removed from platforms such as Twitter. A copy of the video, which was previously viewable on Bogado’s TikTok account without sound, is “currently unavailable.”      

Outrage is so high that some viewers of Beef are threatening to boycott the show and are putting pressure on co-stars Wong and Steven Yeun to speak out on Choe’s comments. 

Wong has since made her tweets private. Choe did not respond to The Standard’s request for comment.