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.
"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.”
With all the talk about #beef, we need to talk about David Choe & the obscene, unchecked misogynoir that conditions his behavior & casting. I watched his interview & the story he details abt raping a Black massage therapist is horrific & violent, to say the least.— Bianca Mabute-Louie 雷天芯 (@beyonkz) April 17, 2023
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.”
David Choe wrote to Twitter to get the video I posted of him talking about the woman he says he raped taken down on copyright grounds.— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) April 16, 2023
He claims his *nonprofit* owns the copyright to the video of him talking about the alleged rape. pic.twitter.com/6IaSXTOeQ1
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.
I will not be finishing the show #BEEFNetflix even if he "made this story up" David Choe is a vile human being for thinking raping a Black woman is a joke. I 💜Ali Wong, but I'm out. https://t.co/6ksaST7Cnb— THEE Cuff It Energy Auntie❤🖤💚 (@naturallyfabu) April 13, 2023
Wong has since made her tweets private. Choe did not respond to The Standard’s request for comment.
Christina Campodonico can be reached at [email protected]