‘Rapey’ song out in the cold
● It’s that time of year when radio stations play Christmas music nonstop. But one classic holiday song is proving too controversial for some stations in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside — a duet written in 1944 and performed over the years by scores of artists, including Dean Martin, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles and Lady Gaga — has turned into a hot potato for US broadcasters, some of which have yanked the popular song on the grounds that the lyrics are predatory towards women.
A radio station in Ohio was first to announce it was pulling the song from its playlist last weekend after receiving complaints.
Several other stations across the US and in Canada have followed suit.
Some people have taken issue with the lyrics, in which the man tries to persuade a woman friend to spend the night.
The exchanges include “Say, what’s in this drink?”, “Baby, don’t hold out” and “I ought to say no, no, no sir ….” — lines that some say seem “rapey”.
Broadway songwriter Frank Loesser penned the song in 1944 and it won an Academy Award in 1950 for best original song in the film Neptune’s Daughter.
“When the song was written in 1944, it was a different time,” said Glenn Anderson, a host on the Ohio radio station that banned the song.
“The world we live in is extra sensitive now … in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.” —