'Beef' Star David Choe Ignites Backlash as 2014 Comments Detailing 'Rapey Behavior' Resurfaces

David Choe
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

The 'Beef' actor's 2014 story describing an alleged sexual assault of a masseuse have ignited backlash from viewers.

David Choe, one of the breakout stars of Netflix and A24's hit series, Beef, has drawn controversy for resurfaced comments from a 2014 podcast in which he discusses an encounter featuring "rapey behavior." He later clarified that the story was fictional and said the podcast was an "extension of his art."

In clips of the now-defunct podcast, DVDASA, Choe tells his co-host, porn actor and director Asa Akira, and a group of guests a story that has been criticized as rape and sexual assault since it's been widely shared after Beef debuted last week. 

Gawker reported on the podcast's discussion back in 2014, including the full transcript of Choe's comments. During the 2014 podcast episode, Choe said his "erection quest" took him to his favorite massage studio -- where he emphasized that sexual contact was not on the menu. During a session with a masseuse he called Rose, he said he began to experience an erection.

"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," Choe told his guests, going on to say he forced the masseuse to perform oral sex on him, noting that "she didn't want to do it."

Akira loudly protested that Choe was detailing a rape as the male guests ask Choe to describe the masseuse's physical attributes. 

"The thrill of possibly going to jail is what achieved the erection quest," Choe said, also replying, "she said yes with her eyes."  

"I just want to make it clear that I admit that that's rapey behavior, but I am not a rapist," Choe added, according to Gawker

After receiving backlash for the podcast episode in 2014, Choe released a statement on DVDASA's no-longer-active website claiming that the story was actually false.

"I never thought I'd wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist. It sucks. Especially because I am not one. I am not a rapist. I hate rapists," Choe wrote. "I am an artist and a storyteller and I view my show DVDASA as a complete extension of my art. If I am guilty of anything, it's bad storytelling in the style of douche. Just like many of my paintings are often misinterpreted, the same goes with my show."

He went on to say that the anecdote "was not a representation of [his] reality."

"It's my version of reality, it's art that sometimes offends people. I'm sorry if anyone believed that the stories were fact. They were not," he concluded. "In a world full of horrible people, thank god for us."

In 2017, he wrote another lengthy post on Instagram about the clip, claiming he had "ZERO history of sexual assault."

The conversation about the artist ramped up over the weekend as users realized that their tweets featuring the podcast clip were being removed from Twitter. Writer Aura Bogado shared the clip on Twitter, as well as a reposted TikTok video explaining the situation, that were eventually removed due to a community guideline violation which she says was due to Choe's comments about the assault in the podcast. Bogado shared screenshots of the DMCA notice she received from Twitter Support after they removed her post due to "copyright grounds." 

According to the screenshots, the notice was allegedly sent on behalf of the David Young Choe Foundation -- renamed the Meleka Foundation -- a nonprofit led by Choe that was incorporated in 2015 and terminated under that name in 2020.

Brooklyn-based writer Meecham Whitson Meriweather tweeted similar screenshots after his account was locked for posting the recording of Choe. Additionally, an audio file of the podcast episode uploaded by writer Melissa Stetten on Google Drive has been removed for violating the site's terms of service.

ET has reached out to Netflix and Choe's rep for comment.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.