After hearing listeners complaints concerning the lyrics, Cleveland radio station Star 102 stopped playing the popular Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.
In 1944, the song was written by Frank Loesser. In this call and response song, a man tells a woman she should stay because of the bad winter weather. Yet, the woman still insists on leaving.
The song gained popularity in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter.” It was sung between Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán’s characters. Then, in a role reversal, by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton.
In the era of the #MeToo movement, the song comes across as a date rape song. Check out the following lines:
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
In 2006, African-American civil rights activist Tarana Burke started using the phrase “me too” on the social network MySpace. This was part of a campaign to promote “empowerment through empathy” for women of color who experienced sexual abuse, especially those in underprivileged communities.
In 2017, in wake of the Harvey Wienstein and Bill Cosby scandals, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged victims of sexual violence to use the #MeToo hashtag.
On Tuesday, Radio host Glen Anderson wrote about Star 102’s decision to stop playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” “I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad … Until I read them.”
He also wrote, “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.”