‘Rapey’ song out in the cold

Sunday Times - - Week in Review -

● 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.” —

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