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Top 10 BIGGEST Grand Theft Auto Controversies!

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nathan Sharp The biggest game franchise still causes the biggest controversies. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Grand Theft Auto Controversies! Special thanks to our user “Dillon Brown” who suggested this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Grand Theft Auto Controversies

Rockstar sure knows how to make 'em mad. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the top ten Grand Theft Auto controversies.

For this list, we'll be counting down the biggest controversies that arose from the Grand Theft Auto series of video games, ranging from legal battles to blaming the game on crime sprees and anything in between. Let's be serious, every GTA game has caused a controversial stir in some form or another, so whether it's top down, 3D, or DLC, any GTA game is up for consideration.

#10: Lindsay Lohan Sues (and Fails Spectacularly)

The “Grand Theft Auto” series is certainly no stranger to lawsuits, and perhaps one of the most famous ones occurred when Lindsay Lohan attempted to sue Take-Two Interactive for using her likeness without her permission. Lohan filed a complaint the length of a Stephen King novel back in the summer of 2014, claiming that both the characters of peace sign woman and Lacey Jonas were based on her likeness and life. The lawsuit was a failure, as the appeals court threw out the case, claiming that the game is a work of satire and that it does not fall under the statutory definitions of “advertising” or “trade,” clearing Take-Two of any repercussions.

#9: Daz Dillinger Tells Rockstar to Cease and Desist

Yet another celebrity attacking the game makers, Daz Dillinger tried to receive his dues by threatening Rockstar. Daz was allegedly offered $4,271 from Rockstar to use his songs “C-Walk” and “Nothin’ But the Cavi Hit” in “Grand Theft Auto V.” He claimed it an “offensively low” offer and wanted more cash, and Rockstar, acting like rock stars, told him to stick it up his Daz and used the songs anyway. In return, Daz sent a cease and desist to the developer, telling them to recall and destroy all unsold copies of the game or pay him what he considered to be a reasonable amount. Rockstar really is a magnet for lawsuits, aren't they? Even the music can't escape the controversy!

#8: GTA Desensitizes Children to Killing

There’s certainly no denying that the GTA series features explicitly violent content that should not be repeated in real life. However, we believe that people can make the distinction between reality and a video game. This seemingly never-ending argument came up yet again on Glenn Beck’s program, where he used the “Grand Theft Auto” series as an example in a wider argument that children are becoming desensitized to murder and crime due to violent video games, and using the military’s higher firing rate as “proof.” Beck also had attorney Jack Thompson (who we will most certainly mention again) on his program, who sided with Beck by mentioning that the games are responsible for dozens of murders and school shootings.

#7: New Hyde Park Crime Spree

Urrhh It’s situations like this which give people like Jack Thompson their arguments. In 2008, a large group of teenagers, allegedly influenced by “Grand Theft Auto,” went on what police called “a spree of violence, mischief, and damage” in New York. First, they jumped and robbed a man outside a supermarket, knocking his teeth out in the process. They then broke into a shed and stole crowbars and other metal weapons which they then used to smash various vehicles, one of whose occupants were also robbed. Six of the teenagers were arrested and charged with robbery, claiming (of course) that they were emulating the characters of “Grand Theft Auto.”

#6: Full Frontal Male Nudity

Rockstar had the gall to actually include a PENIS in one of their games! A penis! Hey everyone, did you know that this game shows a penis?! That was the general reaction to a scene in “The Lost and Damned” in which a character's privates were shown on screen. Rockstar clearly did it for attention (the character even stretches his groin in the direction of the camera), and attention they received, as many websites reported on the specific scene. Common Sense Media even called the game “more controversial” than the others, saying that this game is “even more controversial than its predecessors due to the male nudity.”

#5: Journalists Deem “Grand Theft Auto V” Misogynistic

This one acts as a double whammy. Not only has the game itself received flak from journalists, but said journalists began to receive flak from gamers in return – hard to believe, I know. Outlets such as The Guardian, Huffington Post, and Polygon have all commented negatively on the game. GameSpot's Carolyn Petit did praise the game with a 9/10, but she made the unfortunate mistake of mentioning in her review that the game quote “celebrates sexism”. She noted the one-dimensional female characters and specifically singled out the sexist radio ads. Some readers didn't take too kindly to the review, and disagreed in a respectful manner. Just kidding, they started a petition to get her fired.

#4: The Infamous Torture Mission

Misogyny isn't the only thing that “Grand Theft Auto V” was attacked for. In the mission By the Book, Trevor is tasked with torturing a man in order to obtain a physical description of an assassination target, which he is all too happy to do. The mission sees players directly controlling a brutal and realistic torture, including shocking the man with a car battery, pulling out his teeth, and waterboarding him. While the scene and thematic implications may act as satire, this didn't stop various organizations from condemning the game, including Freedom from Torture, whose chief executive Keith Best said “Rockstar crossed a line” and that “torture is a reality, not a game.”

#3: Take-Two vs. Jack Thompson

We could write a book about the feud between Take-Two and Jack Thompson. Thompson began his quest by linking various crimes to “Grand Theft Auto” due to its influence as a “murder simulator” (see above), and it only snowballed from there. In March 2007, Take-Two sued Thompson to prevent HIM from preventing the sale of “GTA IV,” claiming that it violates the company's First Amendment rights. Thompson then compared the selling of GTA IV to polio, and even wrote a letter addressed to the mother of Strauss Zelnick, the chairman of Take-Two, comparing her son to the Hitler Youth and proclaiming that his company's video games have caused the deaths of innocent people.

#2: “Grand Theft Auto III” in General

There's no denying that “Grand Theft Auto III” revolutionized gaming. It featured a large and detailed open world that was full of possibilities. Unfortunately, these possibilities also came with a huge amount of controversy. Many groups took to condemning the game's offensive content, including the mass murder and prostitution. At the time, GameSpy called it “absolutely reprehensible,” the National Organization for Women said that the game promotes the “degradation of women,” psychologist David Walsh said that it “glamorized criminal activity,” and the game was even banned in Australia upon initial release, Forcing the prostitute sex scenes to be removed from that region.

#1: Hot Coffee Mods Gets “San Andreas” Pulled from Stores

If you were a gamer back when “San Andreas” was popular, then you definitely remember the huge uproar that the hot coffee mod caused. Intrepid hackers for a hidden section of the games code the revealed a series of mini games not accessible through normal play. In these sections, players take control of CJ as he performs extremely graphic and crude acts of sex upon his girlfriends who invite him in for “coffee,” hence the title. Needless to say, this caused the media to lose their collective minds, and “San Andreas” was slapped with an AO rating and pulled from store shelves. Rockstar immediately went into damage control mode by removing the minigame and re-releasing “San Andreas” with its M rating reinforced by the ESRB. The controversy ended up costing Rockstar a host of lawsuits, lots of enemies, and a loss of millions of dollars. I think they’re doing okay now though.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think of these controversies? For more crowd-pleasing top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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