Innocent, dew-eyed babe that I am, I had no idea that the heavily tatted criminal who makes a brief appearance in the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer looked like a real guy. But he does, and now I will live with that knowledge until my last days. He resembles Florida Joker—real name Lawrence Sullivan—a resident of, uh, Florida with face tattoos and hair inspired by Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker, who originally went viral for a 2017 mugshot.
Turns out the real Florida Joker might be less than thrilled about seemingly becoming a figure of fun in one of Rockstar’s trailers, because he’s taken to TikTok (via IGN) to tell the studio that he wants a word.
“You might have seen that character on GTA 6, [they] just dropped the trailer today,” says Sullivan in the video, “You know, they got that character with the face tattoos, you know who they got that inspired by. By me! Just look me up: Florida Joker, Miami Joker, you know what I’m talking about.” Sullivan ends the short clip by addressing Rockstar directly: “GTA, we gotta talk.” I’ve reached out to Sullivan to ask if he’s been in touch with Rockstar, and I’ll update this piece if I hear back.
Most of Sullivan’s TikTok uploads since then have consisted of screen recordings, most of which show people either discussing the GTA 6 trailer in general or the Florida Joker parody specifically. It’s honestly a bit hard to discern what Sullivan’s intention is, but I’d imagine he’s attempting to collate examples of other people noting the similarity between the GTA 6 character and himself in case there’s ever a chance to get some money out of the whole thing.
Then again, one of his uploads is just 14 seconds of Poltergst’s Move It over a still image of himself in court, so maybe I don’t really understand anything that’s going on.
Either way, I’m sceptical that the OG Florida Joker will end up getting much from his not-quite-cameo in GTA 6. While the figure in the trailer looks (to me) clearly inspired by Sullivan, he doesn’t actually bear any of the same tattoos or the same hair, so I’m not sure Sullivan could really argue he’s been featured in a game without his consent. Plus, Rockstar has quite a lot of money and, I have to imagine, some very good lawyers. I think this might be a fight the Joker can’t win.