If the kids are nagging you for the R-rated video game Grand Theft Auto V (GTA5) this Christmas, be warned: Santa’s going to have supply problems.
Two of Australia’s major retailers, Target, and now Kmart, have pulled the controversial game from their stores in the wake of claims of misogyny and violence against women, including the ability to have first-person sex with prostitutes and even watch it.
In one example, a sex worker was killed with an axe in the game. A Charge.org petition bearing 40,000 signatures on it was sent to Target and yesterday, the company announced it was pulling the game.
The petition said GTA5 is “a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get ‘health’ points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking”.
Here’s what Target’s General Manager Corporate Affairs Jim Cooper said yesterday in announcing the decision.
“We’ve been speaking to many customers over recent days about the game, and there is a significant level of concern about the game’s content,” Mr Cooper said.
“We’ve also had customer feedback in support of us selling the game, and we respect their perspective on the issue.
“However, we feel the decision to stop selling GTA5 is in line with the majority view of our customers.”
Mr Cooper said Target would continue to sell other R-rated DVDs and games.
“While these products often contain imagery that some customers find offensive, in the vast majority of cases, we believe they are appropriate products for us to sell to adult customers.
“However, in the case of GTA5, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell.”
Today, Kmart has joined them, with Gizmodo Australia revealed, with the company apologising “for not being closer to the content”.
The retailer’s two-line statement simply said:
Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately.
Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game.
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