‘Beef’ Star David Choe Uses Copyright to Scrub Podcast Episode Where He Admitted ‘Rapey Behavior’

The 'Beef' star has issues takedown requests of social media posts showing a clip of his comments on a podcast discussing forcing a masseuse into sex acts.
David Choe via Getty Images
Getty Images

Netflix series Beef actor David Choe’s history of admitting to “rapey behavior” has resurfaced—and he’s issuing copyright takedowns of people who post clips of the podcast to social media.

In 2014, Choe told a detailed story about sexually assaulting a masseuse on his old podcast called DVDASA (which stands for “Double Vag, Double Anal, Sensitive Artist”). His comments were first reported by entertainment blog xoJane in 2014, but are resurfacing now because of Choe’s role in the newly released, highly popular Netflix series Beef.


In the clip, viewed by Motherboard, Choe tells porn performer and co-host Asa Akira a story about his experience at a massage parlor, and his attempt to coerce a masseuse into putting her hand on his penis. 

“She’s not into it but she’s not stopping it either,” Choe said of commanding the masseuse to touch his penis after she’s reluctant to do so, and then describes holding her hand on his penis with both of his hands. He went on to describe how he told her to “spit on it,” and to open her mouth, which she said no to; he then said that he forced her to give him a blow job. “I take the back of her head and push it down on my dick, and she doesn’t do it, and then I go ‘open your mouth’ and she does it, and then I start face fucking her,” he said.

"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. Choe replied, "Yeah."

"I just want to make it clear that I admit that that's rapey behavior," Choe said on the podcast. "But I am not a rapist."

The comments went viral on Twitter this week, and several people who posted clips of the podcast were sent notices that their tweets featuring the clip would be removed on copyright infringement grounds. Writer Aura Bogado posted screenshots of the notice, which come from the “David Young Choe Foundation,” a nonprofit led by Choe that was incorporated in 2015 and terminated under that name in 2020 (it was renamed the Meleka Foundation), according to public records


Brooklyn based writer Meecham Whitson Meriweather tweeted that his account was locked after he posted the podcast clip: 

He said that it found it “very interesting” that he and Bogado’s accounts were specifically named in Choe’s takedown request, which named their Twitter handles as having “re-uploaded” the clip.

“Maybe because we were the most vocal about it and we’re the ones getting the most traffic?” Meriweather told Motherboard. “Not sure—but the video isn’t monetized and his reasoning for getting it taken down was pathetic.”

Choe did not respond to Motherboard’s requests for comment.

Following the podcast episode’s release, on April 18, 2014, as reported by Buzzfeed, Choe wrote an announcement post on the DVDASA website titled “I never thought I’d wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist. It sucks. Especially because I am not one.” In the full announcement, he claims that his story about the masseuse wasn’t “a representation of my reality:”

“I am not a rapist. I hate rapists, I think rapists should be raped and murdered. 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. The main objective of all of my podcasts is to challenge and provoke my friends and the co-stars on the show. We fuck with each other, entertain ourselves and laugh at each other, It’s a dark, tasteless, completely irreverent show where we fuck with everyone listening, but mostly ourselves. We create stories and tell tales. It’s not a news show. It’s not a representation of my reality. It’s not the place to come for reliable information about me or my life. 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! In a world full of horrible people, thank god for us.”


Choe began his career as an artist: In 2005 and 2007, Choe was hired by Facebook to paint murals for the company’s offices—some of them sexually explicit—and was paid in Facebook stock, which became worth 200 million dollars by 2012 when the company went public. (Disclosure: Choe also hosted several Vice documentaries from 2007 to 2014). His words on that 2014 podcast have followed him throughout his career: In 2017, Choe was commissioned by Goldman Properties to paint a large mural on a wall in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. An anti-rape protest and performance art piece titled “NO MEANS NO” responded to the mural, in response to his 2014 comments on the podcast.

Following the protest, Choe addressed his comments again in an Instagram post, again denying that the extremely detailed story ever happened: 

“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,” he wrote on Instagram. “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.” 

Now, it appears that Choe may be attempting to do damage control by weaponizing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice process on social media, which allows copyright owners to force the removal of media if they’re in violation of their copyright. Abusing copyright law as damage control has a long history, with people using it against public figures they disagree with, or that companies see as bad for their business. Even complaining about takedown requests has gotten accounts penalized with more takedown requests. In 2019, after a children’s performer who goes by “Blippi” went viral for an old clip of him pooping on a friend’s naked butt, someone representing him filed takedown requests to get the video removed from Google search. Between July and December 2021, Twitter withheld more than 876,000 pieces of media in response to takedown requests.