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Ginga debate splits public

Published: 9:48AM Wednesday May 26, 2010 Source: ONE News

The great "ginga" debate has polarised New Zealanders with the public split over whether a radio campaign is offensive or just a bit of fun.

Stephen Simpson, a Christchurch father of two red-headed boys, expressed outrage at the promotion on TV ONE's Close Up programme last night saying it makes red-headed people the target of bullying.

But a tvnz.co.nz messageboard shows readers are polarised about Simpson's views and Close Up has had record feedback with hundreds of emails about the issue.

A poll of tvnz.co.nz readers about The Edge radio station's Hug a Ginga Day showed 44% find it offensive, while 56% think it is nothing to be upset about.

Some readers endorse Simpson's views, saying if the promotion asked people to hug a particular race of people, it would not be allowed. But others said he needed to "lighten up" and was being "too PC".

Some thought the father speaking out will make the situation worse for his children.

Shelley72 said: "The father of these children need to understand that no matter the hair colour or look of a child, children get bullied. It's sad I know, but children will get picked on for different reasons: Hair, nose size, colour, freckles, glasses, weight and many more. To me the father has just made this worse for his children."

Others thought the promotion was a sad reflection on society.

Luisa said: "I am totally in agreement with Stephen Simpson. I find the focus on ginga inappropriate and only draws unwanted attention to them. There is no need to single anyone out because of the colour of their hair - they should be accepted as they are without comment."

It seems red-headed people themselves were divided too.

Hiruys said: "As a redhead I would like to tell all you non-redheads out there that the word "ginga" is highly offensive to me. Call me it at your own peril! Other than that, I love my hair!"

But Caitlinmain said: "I agree with him in no way here, as I am a red-head myself, and "Hug a Ginga Day" is all just a bit of fun. Yeah, I've been bullied for my hair colour, but NEVER have I been harassed about it on "Hug a Ginga Day"."

The stunt was engineered by The Edge's morning show hosts, Mike Puru, JJ Feeney and Dominic Harvey.

Close Up will have more on the "ginga" debate tonight. The debate is raging on their Facebook page as well.

Have your say on the messageboard below.

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  • suejo said on 2010-05-29 @ 13:09 NZDT: Report abusive post

    The issue is that this is separatism. In 2010 it's a shame some people in NZ still see separatism on the grounds of a physical charcteristic as Ok and "bit of fun". Read the history of the persecution of redheaded people over the centuries, which is not unlike that of blacks and Jews. Or maybe these same people would think a "hug a yid day" would be ok too as after all most jews are proud they are jews and hey it'd be a bit of harmless fun!

  • MW072 said on 2010-05-28 @ 19:52 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I know everyone thinks it's good harmless fun, but most of you that say that are probably not ginger. I'm a 15 year old ginger and have dealt with some pretty serious bullying as has my sister. Walking home from school was always a nightmare, i'd have kids from other schools yelling names and singing songs but changing the lyrics. It's not a nice feeling and the fact they don't stop makes it worse. It got pretty bad after the premier of Summer Heights High with the term "ranga"...

  • anita007 said on 2010-05-28 @ 19:42 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I despise Ginga day. I find the term Ginga offensive and I resent people barging up to me feeling they have the right to invade my personal space and touch me without permission. We don;t have hug-a-blond day or hug-a-mousy day! Let's just drop the whole thing thanks!

  • cliffhall said on 2010-05-28 @ 19:13 NZDT: Report abusive post

    My 12 year old daughter Riana says: "The kids in my school are really crazy. One kid has already hugged me and another bumped me (not that its unusual) and said Hugga Ginga Girl. They will go berserk on Hugga Ginga Day. I have only being teased once about my hair in my life and it didnt bother me. I think Hugga Ginga Day will Cause Teasing. Kids with red hair who are teased will be isolated and more bullies will notice them. "

  • Haemosis said on 2010-05-28 @ 02:46 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I have no respect for that idiot teacher he didn't have enough decency to allow others to speak, even the Psych that would have been the only specialist there. Instead he tries to tell her what she should think because he knows better? Get a grip. He got no sympathy for his cause from me. His boys seemed normal enough though even with a dad like that so there is hope for all 'Gingas' who feel hard done by. Just think of those poor boys and realize there are always people worse off than yourself

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