“Beef” actor David Choe is facing criticism over a resurfaced podcast interview from 2014 in which he discusses sexually assaulting a masseuse, a story he later claimed was fictional.
Choe’s comments have resurfaced in the wake of his role as Isaac Cho in the newly released Netflix show “Beef,” which is led by actors Ali Wong and Steven Yuen and has received critical praise.
In the clip, which has been circulated online in the wake of the hit Netflix show’s release on April 6, Choe details getting an erection during a massage and performing sex acts in front of and with the masseuse, whom he called Rose.
According to transcripts of the video published by BuzzFeed News following its original release in 2014, Choe detailed masturbating during the massage and forcing Rose to participate in a sex act she was “definitely not into,” admitting that this was “rapey behavior,” but denying that he was a rapist.
The full clip of the interview from Choe’s podcast, DVDASA, was posted to Twitter by journalist Aura Bogado, who tweeted on Sunday that it had been taken down after someone identifying himself as Choe asked Twitter to remove the video on copyright grounds. Bogado also tweeted a clip of the interview in a TikTok she says was removed from the video platform for violating community guidelines.
“You’re basically telling us that you’re a rapist now, and the only way to get your dick really hard is rape,” the podcast’s co-host, Asa Akira, says, to which Choe responds “Yeah,” before referring to himself as “a successful rapist.”
Following criticism of the interview in 2014, Choe posted a statement to the podcast’s now-defunct website in which he denied being a rapist and claimed that the story was not factual or “a representation of my reality,” BuzzFeed News reported.
Choe, who is also a successful graffiti artist, released another statement about the interview on Instagram in 2017 after a mural he painted in New York City was spray-painted with the word “rapist.” At the time, Choe again denied that the story he told on his podcast actually occurred, and wrote that he had “ZERO history of sexual assault.”
CBS News has reached out to Choe for comment, as well as to Wong, Yuen and Netflix. Neither Wong nor Yuen, who are also producers of the show, have addressed the incident publicly.