‘Beef’ Actor David Choe Controversy, Explained

David Choe, who stars in Netflix’s BEEF, is facing public scrutiny after videos resurfaced of him describing his “rapey behavior.” The clips come from an episode of Choe’s podcast, DVDASA, where he talks about an alleged incident with his masseuse. In the videos, he jokes about having an erection during the service. Choe has spoken about the encounter in the past and claims it is not true. But now, with new attention on the actor thanks to the success of BEEF, the podcast episode has resurfaced—and with it, criticism of Choe. Keep reading for everything we know about the incident.

What Did David Choe Say?

In 2014, Choe reportedly discussed a sexual encounter with a masseuse on his podcast, DVDASA, which stands for “Double Vaginal, Double Anal, Sensitive Artist.” According to a BuzzFeed News story about the podcast episode at the time, his co-host Asa Akira asked, “You raped…allegedly.” Choe responded, “I just want to make it clear that I admit that that’s rapey behavior. But I am not a rapist.”

Choe later explained that the “thrill of possibly going to jail” was a turn-on. “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. Cho then replied, “Yeah.”

Has David Choe Responded to the Allegations?

Choe has yet to comment on the resurfaced videos, but a month after the podcast aired, Buzzfeed News reported that he released a statement suggesting his story wasn’t real. “I never thought I’d wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist,” he wrote at the time. “It sucks. Especially because I’m not one. I am not a rapist. I hate rapists. I think rapists should be raped and murdered.”

Three years later, Cho addressed his podcast comments again on his Instagram. Per Brooklyn Street Art, the since-deleted post read:

How does one apologize for a lifetime of doing wrong? Through my past three years of recovery and rehabilitation, I’ve attempted to answer that question through action and understanding. In my life, I’ve struggled deeply with an unnatural amount of hatred I’ve had towards myself. Most of my life I’ve been a scared hurt shame-filled person, trying to mask my insecurities with false confidence and an outwardly negative behavior to validate myself as worthy. In a 2014 episode of DVDASA, I relayed a story simply for shock value that made it seem as if I had sexually violated a woman. Though I said those words, I did not commit those actions. It did not happen. I have ZERO history of sexual assault. I am deeply sorry for any hurt I’ve brought to anyone through my past words. Non-consensual sex is rape and it is never funny or appropriate to joke about. I was a sick person at the height of my mental illness, and have spent the last 3 years in mental health facilities healing myself and dedicating my life to helping and healing others through love and action. I do not believe in the things I have said although I take full ownership of saying them. Additionally, I do not condemn anyone or have any ill will towards those who spread hate and speak out negatively against me, no one will ever hate me more than I hated myself back then. Today I’ve learned to love and forgive others just as much as myself. It’s been a rough journey but i am grateful to be alive and to dedicate myself to shining the light I have found within myself and live in service

What Happened to the Podcast Clips?

The David Young Choe Foundation reportedly emailed Twitter and asked to have the videos removed. Their note read, “On behalf of the David Young Choe Foundation…I would like to submit the required information to remove copyright infringement media. We would like to have these videos removed immediately.” Twitter has since scrubbed the videos from its platform and notified journalists Meecham Whiston Meriweather and Aura Bogado, who were among the first to resurface the clips.

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Earlier this week, Bogado tweeted a screenshot of the copyright notice to notify their followers, which prompted a statement from the Freedom of Press Foundation. They wrote, “Abuse of copyright takedown procedures to censor journalists is a serious and growing problem. It’s also a preview of a post-Section 230 world where platforms fearing liability for user posts remove anything even alleged to be defamatory.”

Choe still has yet to respond to the resurfacing of the podcast clips. We’ll keep this story updated as we learn more.

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Associate Staff Writer

Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.  

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