Grand Theft Auto 5 features a character called Hawick, a so-called “druggie hipster”, and this also happens to be the name of a Scottish border town. The town councillor now fear that the reference could destroy the location’s reputation. No really, this isn’t a joke.
But I wish it was.
Speaking with the BBC, local councillor David Paterson said the reference could, “destroy the reputation” of Hawick, and added that such “adverse publicity” was unfair as many people were “very proud” of the town.
I’m from Scotland and I’m sure a lot of Scots couldn’t even point Hawick out on the map, so I’m sure Paterson really has very little to worry about.
He added, “I am absolutely disgusted – there is a lot of history and a lot of good things happening in the town. We have got a lot of good things planned for this coming year. It is going to destroy the good reputation of the town.”
He continued, “Why did they pick on Hawick, it is a lovely town? It is perceptions, it is how people will perceive the town. They might perceive Hawick in a bad light and Hawick is a lovely place – a lot of people are very, very proud of Hawick.”
Hawick MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament) John Lamont added, “I, like many other Hawick residents, was shocked to hear that the name of the town had been used in Grand Theft Auto V. Not only is it a game which includes violence, sex and drugs, but the game’s producers themselves describe the area of Hawick in the game as having a ‘drug addict hipster vibe’.
He continued, “While some may take the view that any publicity is good publicity, I am sure that many local residents will see this as an insensitive move from Rockstar North,” and added, “They clearly do not know Hawick well, and that is why I have invited them to meet with me at my office on the town’s High Street. Hawick is one of the most beautiful towns in Scotland and I am sure that by showing them the town and telling them of its proud history they will realise the mistake they have made.”
I really don’t think many people have made this connection, and I’m yet to encounter the character in the game. Have you? Did you instantly think of a wee Scottish border town when you saw them?
Let us know below.