U.S. radio station stops playing 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' amidst MeToo movement
A Cleveland radio station will stop playing the 1944 classic “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” citing the MeToo movement and how it could be problematic.
Station WDOK Christmas 102.1 is pulling the song after a listener called into the station to bring up how the song could be seen as problematic in this day and age.
The station’s midday host Desiray told Fox 8/WJW News on Thursday that the move was out of her hands because the song lineup is chosen by listeners: “It wasn’t really our decision. It’s the decision of our listeners.“
But since 2017, the movement has sparked a debate on sexual harassment, consent and rape culture and caused people to re-evaluate films, TV shows and even songs like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
In the song, the female singer sings “I really can’t stay,” to which the male responds, “but baby, it’s cold outside” and “Beautiful, what’s your hurry?” Some of the more problematic lyrics include “My mother will start to worry,” “I ought to say no, no, no” and “"What's in this drink?"
The station’s afternoon host Glenn Anderson admitted in a blog post on WDOK’s website that he initially didn’t understand how the lines could be an issue “until I read them.”
“Now, I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” Anderson wrote, adding “the world we live in is extra sensitive now.”
“People get easily offended, but in a world where MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
The duet was written by American songwriter Frank Loesser who sang it with his wife, Lynn Garland, for friends at dinner parties. After years of performing the song, he sold the song to MGM studios which used the song in the 1949 romantic comedy “Neptune's Daughter.”
Although it was first sung professionally in that film by singers Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán, it has been covered by numerous singers like Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Ray Charles, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Dean Martin, Kelly Clarkson, and Cee Lo Green. In 2014, Canadian singer Michael Bublé sang the song with Broadway star Idina Menzel.
A spokesperson for the radio station was unavailable for comment on Saturday and couldn’t specify if it wouldn’t play the 1949 version or all covers of the song.
On Wednesday, the radio station released a poll asklng readers to vote on whether they felt the song was a "classic" tune or an "inappropriate" one. As of Sunday morning, 94 per cent of the over 6,500 votes have called it a classic.
Since the news broke of the station’s decision, comments have been flooding onto the station’s Facebook page with people weighing in on both sides of the debate.