Artist David Choe Says He Fabricated Podcast Story About ‘Rapey Behavior’
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Korean American artist David Choe is known to be provocative in his work, but he may have gone too far when he told a story on his podcast about a questionable sexual encounter with a massage therapist that some are flagging as rape. After the initially obscure DVDASA podcast garnered greater attention and caused some to accuse him of rape, the artist issued a statement recently saying that he’s not a rapist and that he fabricated the encounter.
“We create stories and tell tales. It’s not a news show. It’s not a representation of my reality,” Choe said in his statement, which was posted on the podcast’s blog. “I’m sorry if anyone believed that the stories were fact. They were not!”
The episode of DVDASA, which Choe co-hosts with adult film actress Asa Akira, aired on March 10, but it was until weeks later on April 17 when a XoJane, an online women’s lifestyle magazine, highlighted Choe’s encounter with a female masseuse at a massage parlor in Los Angeles. Since then, others including Gawker and the Daily Mail picked up the story.
In the podcast, Choe said that, halfway through the massage, he got an erection, and after thinking on how to best act on it, decided to start masturbating in front of the masseuse, whom he calls “Rose.”
Choe said in the podcast that he took the woman’s hand and placed it on his penis, then asked her to “kiss it a little.” When Rose refused, he said he took the back of her head and forced her into oral sex. She refused to have intercourse with him, and apparently asked him to lie back down to finish the massage, he said.
The story was Choe’s account of an “Erection Quest,” which co-host Akira describes as “trying things you’ve never tried before to obtain a super hard erection.” When Choe finished his account, though, Akira said, “You raped … allegedly.” In the podcast, Choe also mentioned that the masseuse later asked him if he’d like to go out with her, and that apparently indicated to him that she did like him. After the podcast members talked about “rapey” behavior vs. “rape,” Choe said, “I just want to make it clear that I admit that that’s rapey behavior. But I am not a rapist.”
In the XoJane article, the author, Melissa Stetten, wrote, “I don’t know if ‘Rose’ really had a crush on David or not. All I know is the way David told the story makes it seem like he forced an unwilling woman to give him oral sex.”
After XoJane published its article, Choe responded the next day on DVDASA’s website, saying his story was entirely fictional.
“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, I think rapists should be raped and murdered,” he 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.”
According to Buzzfeed, Vice is “looking into” the incident involving Choe, who is currently involved in the company’s web series Thumbs Up! and has also served as a correspondent for Vice’s HBO show. When asked by Buzzfeed whether Vice would continue to work with the artist, Vice spokeswoman Cappi Williamson said, “Vice staffers are aware of it [David Choe’s story] and reviewing the situation internally.”
Here’s the podcast in question from DVDASA Episode 106, “Erection Quest.” The story beings around the 1:13:00 mark.