Australian retail giant Target has reportedly pulled Rockstar’s immensely popular gaming title ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ from its store shelves in wake of an online campaign regarding the game’s depiction of violence against women.
The decision to pull the game was taken after more than 40,000 people came forward to support a Change.org petition that called for the retailer to stop selling the alleged game as it encourages players to murder women just for entertainment. The petition was launched on Saturday by three by Australian women who were subject to violence and sexual abuse in their lives.
“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 V from sale,” the petition read.
Explaining the reason behind the move, Jim Cooper, Target Australia’s general manager of corporate affairs, on Wednesday, 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 GTA V is in line with the majority view of our customers.”
Cooper said excluding GTA V, which carries an R18 rating in Australia, other R-rated DVDs and games will continue to be sold at Target Australia.
Another Australian retailer Kmart has also pulled the game from its stores shelves.
“Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately,” a spokesperson said.