Radio station bans 'Baby it's cold outside' from festive playlist because of #MeToo

The song Baby its cold outside has been removed from a radio station’s Christmas playlist [Photo: Getty]
The song Baby its cold outside has been removed from a radio station’s Christmas playlist [Photo: Getty]

A US radio station has removed ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ from its Christmas playlist claiming the song’s lyrics are at odds with the #MeToo movement.

Local media reported that Star 102, in Cleveland, Ohio has decided to ban the song following complaints from listeners.

Glenn Anderson, a host at the Star 102 station, explained in a blog, now blocked for security reasons, that although the song was written in a different era, the lyrics felt “manipulative and wrong”.

“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”

But a poll on the station’s Facebook page showed a majority of respondents did not want the song banned.

Should we play 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' during the holiday season?

Posted by Star 102 Cleveland on Thursday, November 29, 2018

“Then I guess you should stop playing Santa baby, I saw mommy kissing Santa, Grandma got run over, because people think those are offensive too, this PC stuff is getting ridiculous, play whatever if people don’t like it they will turn the knob. You will never please everyone 100%,” one user wrote.

“There are other songs on the radio that are much more inappropriate than ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’, and those songs are being played 90% of the year,” another agreed.

Others explained that the context of the song has been misunderstood.

“You have that song all wrong. It is a love song, a conversation between a couple. He would like her to stay and she wants to go home. It is a conversation that probably happens a lot. This is total nonsense and you guys should be ashamed of your selves,” one user commented.

“Ya know, I hear the argument and I get it, but I really really LOVE that song. There are very few holiday songs I like and that’s one of them. IMO – I don’t think it’s “rapey”. It was written in 1944. If we start to analyze all songs, you’ll be left playing maybe 3, if that,” yet another agreed.

But on Twitter some people could see why the song could be offensive.

The song originally appeared in the 1940s film Neptune’s Daughter [Photo: Youtube]
The song originally appeared in the 1940s film Neptune’s Daughter [Photo: Youtube]

Written by Frank Loesser in 1944, Baby It’s Cold Outside originally appeared in the film Neptune’s Daughter and has been covered by Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews and actors Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the movie Elf.

The tune takes the form of a back-and-forth conversation between a man attempting to dissuade his female date from leaving his house by arguing that the weather is bad.

Normally performed as a male/female duet the song includes lines like “I really can’t stay” and “baby don’t hold out”, which many people regard as suggestive of coercive behaviour and blurs the lines of consent.

The line “say, what’s in this drink”, has drawn particular criticism from some who believe it hints that the woman’s drink has been spiked.

But many people don’t see anything wrong with the song arguing that in the context of the 1940s the song is merely dramatising the woman’s internal battle between wanting to stay and the social expectations that aren’t allowing her to.

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