Haitian-Americans protest Vice City

[UPDATE] Caribbean immigrants accuse Rockstar game of racism at a New York protest.

Already blamed for inspiring a killing spree and corrupting millions of youths, Grand Theft Auto Vice City is now being accused of racism. Today, over a year after Rockstar released the game, two Haitian-American community groups--the Haitian Centers Council and Haitian Americans for Human Rights--staged a protest at New York's City Hall, and urged supporters to picket the publisher's Manhattan offices.

"Grand Theft Auto [Vice City] is a cultural attack on the millions of Haitians living in the United States," said Henry Frank, executive director of the Haitian Centers Council. Frank's organization further blasted the game in a Monday press release, saying "players are instructed to kill all Haitians, who, in the video game, are stereotyped as thugs, thieves and drug dealers."

Why the Haitian-American group waited months to protest the game is unclear. For its part, Rockstar refuted the charge. "We empathize with the concerns of the Haitian community and we are giving serious consideration to them ... There was no intention to offend any ethnic group and we take these claims very seriously," said communications director James Ankner in a statement. He continued, "Some statements made by fictional characters in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have been taken out of context," most likely referring to the murderous exhortations of the Cuban gang, the Haitian's arch-rivals in the game.

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