GTA 5 has been banned from sale in Target and Kmart in Australian branches in response to an online petition over the game's depiction of violence towards women. It was set up by 3 women who once worked in the sex industry, because they were outraged at the fact you could kill said female sex workers in GTA5. The petition quickly gained support and in about 4 days 40,000 people signed the petition.
The petition read:
"Please Target - we appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto 5 from sale”
"One of many fan clips on YouTube shows the woman being run down, run over, set alight and, still screaming, repeatedly shot. This misogynistic GTA 5 literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence.
"We have firsthand experience of this kind of sexual violence. It haunts us, and we've been trying to rebuild our lives ever since. Just knowing that women are being portrayed as deserving to be sexually used by men and potentially murdered for sport and pleasure - to see this violence that we lived through turned into a form of entertainment is sickening and causes us great pain and harm.
Target, you pride yourself on being a family company, caring for local communities, and have a strong ethical sourcing policy. How can you do this while contributing to hostile and callous attitudes toward victims of violence and, more broadly, to all women?"
In response Target pulled the game from their shelves and said the following. This morning, Target Australia announced that it had noted "extensive community and customer concern" about the game, and would therefore pull it from shop shelves.
Target executive Jim Cooper said, "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. 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. 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."
Kmart followed suit soon enough stating the following to Kotaku,
“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.”