Radio Station Stops Playing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Due to #MeToo Movement

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One radio station will not be playing all of your holiday favorites this year. WDOK Christmas 102.1, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, has pulled the Christmas classic, Baby It’s Cold Outside from its 24-hour holiday rotation after listeners spoke up about the song’s predatory undertones throughout the song. One listener called into the station and noted that the song is inappropriate for today, especially during the #MeToo movement.

Star 102 Cleveland, which hosts the Christmas radio during the holiday season, agreed that the song was not suitable and went to other listeners to hear their thoughts. The audience agreed with the on-air DJ’s, and ultimately the song was pulled.

“People might say, ‘Oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of situation. The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea,” Star 102’s midday host Desiray told WJW.

Created by Frank Loesser (who also wrote the lyrics to the Broadway tunes, Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed on Broadway Without Really Trying), the call and response duet was originally written for Frank and his wife to sing for fun at parties. While the song makes no mention at all about the holidays (in fact, Frank was Jewish), it’s regarded as a popular Christmas song.

Later on, Frank sold the rights of the song to MGM where Ester Williams and Ricardo Montalbán sang it in the 1949 film, Neptune’s Daughter. And yes, she does leave at the end but it doesn’t make the scene any less cringe-worthy.

This isn’t the first time the song has gotten heat. According to Snopes, the song has been called a  “date-rape anthem.” And just last year USA Today shared a story that in light of all of the sexual abuse allegations the song should be retired.

If you haven’t taken a good look, here’s the song’s lyrics:

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s cold outside
Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside)
The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (Look out the window at that storm)
My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before) (And I don’t even smoke)
I’ve got to get home (Baby you’ll freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat? (It’s up to your knees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught pneumonia and died!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s cold
Baby it’s cold outside
Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!
The male part of the song is in parenthesis while the female’s lyrics are not. As you can see, the lyrics leave a lot of room for interpretation, but the radio station is staying put, leaving this Christmas classic off the radio for the rest of the season.
This post was originally published on November 30, 2018.

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