Every GTA game comes with controversy. The original GTA games were controversial simply due to their depiction of violence. Once violence somehow became generally accepted, San Andreas sparked controversy due to 'Hot Coffee' – a glitch that allowed sex in-game. Then GTA 5 had its infamous torture scene, and so on, and so forth we go. Now, if you've been following the times we live in, you'll notice that we, as a society, have become a lot more sensitive. Jokes that were once ok, are now a reason to cancel people. So, when you take games like GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, you have to ask yourself: How is the overly politically correct climate of today going to react to games that were already controversial at a time when, by comparison, nothing was. Well, Rockstar isn't trying to find out, and already went ahead and censored themselves.
Rockstar Removes Confederate Flag from GTA Vice City
Phil Cassidy's shirt has been altered to remove the confederate flag - in a trilogy that laughs in the face of political correctness, what else have they altered to please a modern audience? Radio ads/discussions? Character dialogue ? Objectives? from GTA
The original Vice City featured a character by the name of Phil Cassidy. Phil Cassidy used to wear a shirt with the confederate flag on it. Now, Phil Cassidy wears a shirt with a skull on it. Why? Because the confederate flag was once the pride, joy and symbol of the slavers in America, and has since stood tall as a symbol for white supremacy. Rockstar, it seems, figured that the sensitives of today's times will not appreciate being reminded of some of the world's realities, so they went ahead and... censored themselves.
Now, I have a problem with this, because Phil Cassidy is not the game's protagonist. Phil Cassidy, in fact, is the butt of many jokes, and is never used to celebrate white supremacy. Phil Cassidy simply was an idiot redneck, who was depicted exactly the way he should've been: As an idiot redneck that celebrates the confederate flag. What makes this so sad is that GTA has forever been about ridiculing political correctness, and tackling controversial issues head on, with an 'in your face attitude', like comedians often do. If you're not completely lost in life, you will have noticed that even comedians these days get cancelled over what is supposed to be comedy: Dave Chappelle is currently the center of a massive Netflix sh*tstorm over jokes from his last special. It seems Rockstar is trying to avoid Chappelle-Netflix-like scenarios, which is absolutely terrible, because GTA used to make Dave Chappelle look like daytime comedy.
Will Rockstar Censor Anything Else in the GTA Trilogy Remaster
We don't know, because the Phil Cassidy change was merely spotted in the trailer, but if that was already too risky for them, you can bet the house that the trilogy remaster will be riddled with adjustments and censorship. Just think about the sh*t the hosts on those radio stations go on about. This doesn't bode well for the game, and I'm not the only disgruntled fan: Twitter is full of disappointed GTA faithfuls. The point of the flag was satire, and to make fun of rednecks. How can you parody someone, if you censor the core of their personality? How much dialogue will they have to adjust? I hate just thinking about what might become of three of my favorite games...
There is hope, though, because Rockstar removed some more non-PG references from the GTA 5 Enhanced & Expanded trailer, like alcohol and pin-up girls. Many believe these parts were merely removed for the trailer, and will still be in the final game. This could well be the case. It could also be the case that the upcoming GTA 5 version will be censored as well, in which case... we're all doomed, and I wouldn't even need GTA 6 anymore...