In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, there’s a fortune teller called Auntie Poulet, voiced by Youree Harris, who looked and sounded very similar to the recently deceased TV psychic, Miss Cleo, also voiced by Youree Harris. However, the Psychic Readers Network, which owns the rights to Miss Cleo, has taken issue and it’s recently filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games for its plagiarism of the mystic Miss Cleo for Vice City’s Auntie Poulet.
This was an intentional coincidence on Rockstar’s part, who’d deliberately hired the actress who used to play Miss Cleo to play the character of Auntie Poulet, in the Vice City entry to its consistently satirical game series, which came out 15 years ago. Let that sink in a moment. 15… years.
In the suit originally reported on TMZ, the Psychic Readers Network claimed that it’d spent over $100 million creating and promoting Miss Cleo’s persona, and it’s pretty miffed that Rockstar have exploited the character to make over $500 million. Surely they’d have seen this coming?
The Psychic Readers Network is more than irked that Rockstar continues to make money off the game with the various reissues and bundles of the games that are still being sold, so it’s had to ensure it's heavily invested IP is protected. Obviously.
Rockstar responded quickly to this suit, saying ‘These claims are entirely meritless and completely ridiculous. We will vigorously defend ourselves with regard to this matter.’
It’s not the first time Rockstar has found itself facing legal action for its satirical view of society and media, with Lindsey Lohan taking them to court and losing. I’m not a psychic, yet I think I can comfortably predict this outcome.