Rockstar Removes Transphobic Content in Grand Theft Auto 5
Rockstar has apparently removed transphobic content in Grand Theft Auto Online and the Grand Theft Auto 5 remake. This includes a Captain Spacetoy doll that had interchangeable genitalia as well as “drag queens,” which were spawned outside of a nightclub.
Redditor JayProspero reported the Captain Spacetoy doll’s change earlier this month. He shared an image that compared images of GTA Online on PlayStation 4 and the E&E-expanded, enhanced–edition of PlayStation 5. While the Captain Spacetoy action figure still exists with “poseable vomit directions”, the one in hot pink and promising “interchangeable Genitalia” has been removed.
Kirsty Cloud, a fan site admin GTANet also commented on Twitter that the “trans caricatures”, which were found around the Cockatoos club, had been removed. Although the models can still be accessed in Director Mode, their dialog options have been disabled.
The models still exist in Director Mode at the moment, but their dialogue options have been removed (presumably this means protagonist dialogue lines to these NPCs about using hormones etc are therefore unused now too).
— Kirsty Cloud (@kirstycloud) April 8, 2022
All Captain Spacetoy dolls and all “transphobic caricatures”, have been removed
However, they came several months after Out Making Games (a UK-based advocacy group for LGBTQ+ persons working in the gaming industry) sent an open to the studio asking it to “remove transphobic elements from the GTA Remasters.” OMG claimed that the letter prompted Kotaku piece asking Rockstar to “leave behind the 2013 transphobia.”
The group thanked Rockstar and acknowledged that the updates were meaningful and took considerable effort.
Out Making Games stated that Grand Theft Auto V, a game that has millions of players around the world, is very popular and that this change could have a significant impact on how trans people are perceived. Rockstar deserves our gratitude for prioritizing this issue. We are game developers ourselves and know that even small changes such as these require coordinated effort and time.
The remastered version of Grand Theft Auto 5 has been released on March 15 for the Xbox Series X-S and PlayStation 5. It is not clear if the content changes were also made to the PC editions. I have reached out to Rockstar and will update this post if I get a response.
Carolyn Petit, Kotakus’s owner, wrote last year a story about transgender women in GTA. The story cited the disabling NPCs along with the many transphobic ads in all games. All games exist in 2022. Directly referenced was a letter sent by Out Making Games, the LGBTQ+ gaming community. The group then directly referenced a letter from Out Making Games asking Rockstar to remove all transphobic content from the game.