Grand Theft Auto V.
Two large retailers in Australia have pulled Grand Theft Auto V from shelves after more than 40,000 people signed a petition.
Kmart has joined Target in banning the "sickening" game which "encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women," according to a statement from the big-box retailer. Kmart and Target in Australia are owned by Wesfarmers Limited and not affiliated with the U.S. brands.
After a "significant review" of GTA content, Kmart said in the statement they would remove the product immediately and "apologises for not being closer to the content of this game."
Target announced it would no longer stock the game on Wednesday after the company received feedback from customers against the depictions of violence against women.
"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," Target General Manager of Corporate Affairs Jim Cooper said in a statement. "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."
Target will continue to sell other R18+ games and DVDs for its adult customers, Cooper said.
The decision followed a Change.org petition, started by survivors of violence, that called for the store to "put ethics before profits and make a strong statement that you do not condone sexual violence, sexual exploitation or the abuse of women as ‘entertainment’."
"This misogynistic GTA 5 literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence," the petition stated.
Gamers are up in arms over the decision, and used social media to criticise the two companies over the decision.
Unbelievable @Targetaus. There is a reason why Australia has an R18+ rating for video games just like #GTAV.— Gavin Shaw (@DiskoGavatron) December 3, 2014
They do realise there's violence against everything in the game, no? #GTAV— Grand Theft Auto V (@RockstarGTAV) December 3, 2014
@Targetaus Next remove Barbie dolls from the shelves for reinforcing negative gender stereotypes pls.— Dan Barrett (@TheDanBarrett) December 3, 2014
@Targetaus terrible decision. Will never shop there again because you cave to the small minded minority— Hoops (@Mitch_J_Hooper) December 3, 2014
Tags: AUSTRALIA, GAMING, GRAND THEFT AUTO, GRAND THEFT AUTO 5, KMART, TARGET, US & World