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Being Scott Harris

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The new documentary Being Ginger was just released on DVD. Its director, Scott P. Harris has been attending screenings and Q & A sessions in various cities. He was in New York City for screenings there when I interviewed him by phone. The documentary was an expansion of his 20-minute, graduate project at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The project is an autobiographical look at Harris' own dating life vis-à-vis his lack of confidence or self-esteem regarding his natural red hair, or, depending on the light, orange hair.

The movie is a romantic journey. The 31-year-old sets out to find a girlfriend. His initial tactic is to approach random girls on the street under the guise of making a movie about ginger bigotry. His supposition is that people don't like gingers. This supposition is purely anecdotal. There are no studies or research that supports this claim. Harris bases his premise on personal experiences, which he admits are only representative of him and no one else. Nor does his experiences speak to anything specific about ginger men as a whole.

Yet, there was a story in the British newspapers about a phenomenon called "Kick a Ginger Day" that was reportedly inspired by an episode of the TV series South Park, which originally aired back in 2005. The phenomenon resulted in bullying and actual physical attacks against school children with red hair. A similar phenomenon was also reported in California back in 2009.

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