Ed Sheeran is a fan of South Park, but one episode in particular left a bad taste in his mouth.
The singer-songwriter opened up to Slam Radio about the show, per The Independent , explaining that the episode “Ginger Kids” negatively impacted his experience in the U.S.
The 2005 episode follows Eric Cartman as his hair turns red after he’s made fun of others with red hair for having “no souls,” and many credit it for popularizing the mistreatment of people with red hair—specifically for creating “Kick a Ginger Day.” As Ed remembers it in the 2021 interview that’s now gaining traction, the episode “fucking ruined my life.”
“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,” Sheeran said. “That episode of South Park fucking ruined my life. 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.”
Still, Sheeran clarified that despite the negative impact of that one episode, he loves the animated series and has his own hopes for the future of it—including playing his own role some day.
“I hope that if I’m ever on South Park, them taking the piss, I hope I’m allowed to voice my character,” he said. “Even if it’s very offensive, I’d love to voice my character.”
The singer-songwriter—who recently landed his fourth No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with =, recently caught up with The Breakfast Club back in November, sharing that he feels like an outsider in pop music. He said that the only people to hit him up about the album, for the most part, were UK industry friends.
“I’m not accepted by my genre. I thought it was quite telling that my album came out and the only people that emailed me in-depth about liking it were like Dave and Stormzy and people from the UK rap and UK grime scene,” he said. “My peers largely, I feel, in the pop scene often don’t want me to succeed. … I’ve never felt accepted by my scene.”