David Choe and the Artistic Rape

This. Fucking. Guy. David Choe, a celebrated graffiti artist and formerly cool dude, recently spent a good solid thirty minutes on his podcast going into graphic detail about how he raped his masseuse. The whole thing starts at the one hour and 12 minute mark and kicks off a whole fucked up cavalcade of justifications right out of a sexual predator’s handbook: “She said yes with her eyes,” “She’s a whore,” “She was into me and thought I was a cool dude,” and many, many more. Understandably, the internet god Buzzfeed helped break the story, forcing Choe to cobble together this bullshit apology:

“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.”

Clearly Choe has fallen back on the whole, “I’m operating on such a high level of satire and comedy that you all misinterpreted me because I’m so misunderstood and under-appreciated.” Aside from having seen this before, the whole apology is incredibly patronizing.

So after watching the video with David’s not-in-any-way-artistic storytelling of rape and his apology, there are two possibilities:

1) David is an unabashed rapist who is scared for his career and is trying to backpedal.


2) He’s a complete lunatic who thinks that rape makes for a highly entertaining tale for his audience.

Regardless of which one is true, the whole incident shines a light on the double-think all too present in today’s “bro culture.” I have no doubt that David doesn’t like rapists, but he said this during the podcast, “I’m not a rapist, but what I did was rapey.”

What does this even mean? How can you perpetrate an act, without considering yourself a perpetrator?

The real problem is that today’s dudes justify their execution of sexual assault by changing, in their head, what qualifies as “actual” rape. People like David play the part of the victim to justify their actions and change the focus from the real targets to themselves.

At the end of the day, what David did wasn’t artistic, wasn’t funny and certainly wasn’t entertaining. A little deeper digging should take place to find out what the facts are behind the case, and his employers like Vice should drop him like a bad habit. In a world full of horrible people, David Choe is one of them.

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