Rockstar Games Removes Transphobic Content From GTA V

Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto / Photo courtesy of Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games has removed transphobic content from Grand Theft Auto V's next-gen releases for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

In 2021, Carolyn Petit wrote a piece about Rockstar Games regarding the inclusion of harmful jokes throughout GTA V. These jokes are aimed against trans sex workers and models within the game, some of whom are coined as "Drag Queens." These models were reported to spawn outside of Cockatoos and had unsuitable dialogue options.

Following this, OutMakingGames, known as OMG, wrote an open letter to Rockstar Games. In this letter, OMG held Rockstar Games accountable for their transphobic content within GTA V.

In response to this, Rockstar Games has altered the next-gen releases to discontinue the spawning of these NPCs outside of Cockatoos. Additionally, players are no longer allowed to engage with inappropriate dialogue options.

There was a video posted on YouTube that focused on a GTA V player terrorizing these trans characters within the game. A viewer encouraged his behavior in the comments, and the player carried on.

"There’s no shortage of transphobia in and around games, but this particular example has stuck with me more than any other. Sometimes, when someone says or does something that puts me on guard, I flashback to that video, to that comment." Petit stated in regards to this video, "Then I wonder if any of the strangers around me would enjoy hurting me."

Rockstar Games listened to Petit's statements and changed these details within the game. Kristy Cloud, GTANet Admin, posted on Twitter regarding the changes. Cloud wrote, "I hope this provides comfort to anyone who felt these NPCs depicted harmful stereotypes."

In addition to these changes, Cloud also reported that a transphobic prop or texture has been removed from the game. Besides this, there are no other specific changes known to the public, as comparing files is impossible until the next-gen update is released on PC.

From this, it is evident that Rockstar Games is listening to its audience and making it a safer place for their players in the LGBTQA+ community.

To learn more about transgender equality and to reach out for help, contact resources such as the National Center for Transgender Equality or The Trevor Project.