Graffiti artist David Choe, who has worked with Facebook, CNN, HBO, and Vice, admitted to what he described as "rapey" behavior in a March 10 episode of a podcast he co-hosts with porn actress Asa Akira.
On this podcast, which had been overlooked until a post on xoJane on April 17, Choe discussed getting a massage from a masseuse he calls "Rose." He said he got an erection during the massage and began to masturbate in front of the masseuse without telling or asking her. He recounted the incident:
It's dangerous and it's super self-destructive. I'm at a place and there's potential for a lawsuit... and she has given me no signs that she's into me or that this is appropriate behavior. In my head I go, Do you care if I jerk off right now? and it sounds so creepy in my head that I go I can't say that out loud ... So I go back to the chill method of you never ask first, you just do it, get in trouble and then pay the price later.
...So I just start jerking off. So then her hands gets off my leg and she just stops ... I go 'Look I'm sorry I can't help myself — can you just pretend like I'm not doing this and you continue with the massage?' And she's like 'All right' and she does ... I'm like 'Can I touch your butt?' and I reach out and touch her butt and she pulls away. She doesn't want me to touch her butt.
Rose continued the massage. He asked for oil, and she poured it on him. On the podcast, he then admits that he grabbed her hand and placed it on his penis. He asked if she would spit on it, and she said no. He asked her to kiss it, and she said no.
She's definitely not into it, but she's not stopping it either. I say, 'Kiss it a little,' she says, 'No, all the massage oil is on it,' and I take the back of her head and I push it down on my dick and she doesn't do it. And I say, 'Open your mouth, open your mouth,' and she does it and I start facefucking her.
Choe says that he continued with the act until he ejaculated into the masseuse's mouth. Rose refused to have sex with him, and allegedly asked him to lie back down so she could continue with the massage.
After Choe told the story, his co-host Akira said, "You raped... allegedly." And he responded "Well... encouraged." Akira further pushed the question of whether or not Choe raped.
"I just want to make it clear that I admit that that's rapey behavior," said Choe. "But I am not a rapist." He continued:
With the rape stuff... I mean, I would have been in a lot of trouble right now if I put her hand on my dick and she's like, 'Fucking stop I'm gonna go call security.' That would have been a much different story. But the thrill of possibly going to jail, that's what achieved the erection quest.
After that Akira exclaimed: "You're basically telling us that you're a rapist right now, and the only way to get your dick hard is rape." His response was simply "Yeah."
The definition of rape under California law is an "act of sexual intercourse... where it is accomplished against a person's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another."
On Friday, April 18, Choe responded to allegations of being a rapist on the show's website, DVDASA, saying he is not a rapist, and that the stories he tells on the show are not facts and the show is "not a representation of my reality."
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.
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.
BuzzFeed reached out to Vice to ask if they will continue to work with him after the incident. A spokesperson responded that they "were looking into it." David Choe did not immediately return an email request for comment.
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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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