Anger, jokes and an ever-escalating argument: The Netflix series "Beef" is on everyone's lips with its wild mixture of heart, humor and absurd drama. Supporting actor David Choe can't really enjoy the attention though. An old podcast recording was also dug up as part of the series. And that leaves him in an extremely unsympathetic light.
Specifically, it's about an episode of Choe's own podcast DVDASA, which he ran together with porn actress Asa Akira. A clip from a 2014 episode is currently causing a lot of negative publicity. Choe appears to have admitted to forcing a masseuse into sex. And is now taking action against journalists who spread the clip on Twitter.
He had been to a massage, says Choe in the clip. At some point he tried to direct the hand of the masseuse towards his penis. "She didn't feel like it, but she didn't resist either," he says frankly. Then he tried to persuade her to do a blow job, which she clearly refused. But that didn't stop him. "I grabbed the back of her head and pressed her onto my penis. She didn't do anything, so I asked her to open her mouth, which she did," he says. Then he continued.
Even his fellow podcaster Asa Akira recognized the seriousness of the report. "So you're just telling us that you're a rapist," she asks in disbelief. "Yes," Choe replies. He sees the behavior as sexually offensive. "But I'm not a rapist."
In fact, Choe apologized for the conversation back in 2014. The action described never took place, the whole scenario was fictitious. It was an unfortunate attempt to deliver some kind of performance, the apology says. He was in a mentally difficult phase.
In a conversation with the "New York Times" from 2021 he explained that. He felt a "morbid desire to feel an external reaction to the shame I felt myself," he says of that time. "It was oddly comfortable to be despised like that. It fit with how I felt about myself." His podcast partner Asa Akira seems to believe him. The porn actress is still close friends with Choe and was one of the first guests on his talk show "The Choe Show", which started in 2021.
However, the fact that an excerpt from the conversation is now making the rounds on Twitter shows that not everyone is so understanding. Aura Bogado was one of the journalists who shared the clip on Twitter. Choe reported her for copyright infringement: the clip is owned by his foundation, according to the Twitter message she shared. According to "Vice", numerous other journalists are said to have been asked to remove the clips. The episode can no longer be accessed on the podcast's own page anyway: the operators have let the website expire.
The controversy surrounding his statements had followed Choe for years. The artist, who became known for his graffiti paintings, was also attacked from within his own scene, and murals in his hometown of Los Angeles were wantonly and extensively destroyed.
Choe was sympathetic to the harsh headwind. "If you want to cancel me, that's okay," he told NYT. The latest wave of rejection is unlikely to have any impact on his future prospects. Choe made headlines around the world because he was paid in shares for a commissioned picture for the then unknown start-up Facebook. When the Internet giant went public in 2012, its shares were already worth $200 million. Since then, the value of the company has increased eightfold.
Quellen:DVDASA (via Internet Archive), Vice, New York Times, Twitter, Hyperallergic