GTA 5’s Current-Gen Port Removes Transphobic Caricatures And Language

Rockstar appears to have removed transphobic NPCs and jokes from the latest release of Grand Theft Auto 5, Expanded and Enhanced. NPCs who had long been criticized for perpetuating harmful stereotypes, often used against trans people in real life, still appear in the game, but have had their voice lines removed. Some jokes have also been replaced too, as spotted by players.

This comes after many had called for Rockstar to update the humour of GTA 5 for its latest release, reflecting the increasingly publicized acts of transphobia we have seen since its initial launch. While Rockstar has not commented on this move publicly, it is clear that the changes were purposely made, as the NPCs in question were specifically targeted to have their voice lines removed, and they no longer appear outside their usual spot in-game.

The discovery was shared on Twitter, and pertains to the recent upgrades of both GTA 5 and GTA Online. It was found that, while the NPCs are still present in the game – accessible via the Director Mode – they do not appear at their usual spawn point of an LGBTQ+ nightclub in normal gameplay. Players are unable to activate their voice lines, with a text box reading: "No available speech for this actor".

Visual gags have also been removed, such as a poster that describes an action figure as having "interchangeable genitalia". This has been replaced with another action figure poster.

While the characters are listed in the game as "drag queens" in the game, not necessarily trans women, their voice lines and design nevertheless perpetuated stereotypes and bigotry towards the trans community.

As we reported last October, advocacy group Out Making Games shared an open letter directed at Rockstar, calling for this content to be removed. At the time, they said that Rockstar should make the changes, so as to not "promote violence against trans and gender diverse people."

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