A 2005 episode of South Park left Ed Sheeran seeing red. In a recent interview with Slam Radio (via The Independent), the British pop star said that “Ginger Kids” from Season 9, “fucking ruined my life.”
The controversial episode began with Cartman bullying children with red hair, even going so far as to claim they have no souls. However, a prank by Stan and Kyle led him to believe that he had contracted “gingervitis,” which in turn prompted him to lead a violent “Ginger Separatist Movement.”
Sheeran said that before “Ginger Kids” aired, “Having red hair in England was always a thing that people took the piss out of you for, but it was never something in America. People never knew what a ginger was in America.”
As he explained, “I was going to America, and everyone was like, ‘I love your hair dude.’ And I was like ‘Oh my god, people like my hair?’ And then I remember that episode coming out and that was just it worldwide for the rest of my life.”
Sheeran isn’t the only one person with bad memories of “Ginger Kids.” In 2008, a Facebook joke purportedly inspired by the episode led to “National Kick a Ginger Day,” which was investigated by Canadian police as a hate crime. Massachusetts Middle School students revived “National Kick a Ginger Day” in 2015, which left several red-haired students injured. Check out a clip from the episode below.
Last year, Sheeran released his fifth studio album, =. As for South Park, it was renewed for six more seasons, and Season 24 is currently in development. The long-running animated sitcom has also committed to 14 new movies, and the first two, South Park: Post Covid, and South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid, debuted in November and December, respectively.