Baby It's Cold Outside pulled by US radio station after listeners complain lyrics at odds with #MeToo

'In a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place,' presenter says

A scene from the 1949 film Neptune's Daughter, in which the stars perform a version of Baby It's Cold Outside
A scene from the 1949 film Neptune's Daughter, in which the stars perform a version of Baby It's Cold Outside

A US radio station has removed Christmas classic Baby It’s Cold Outside from its playlist after listeners complained it was at odds with the #MeToo movement.

Glenn Anderson, a host at Star 102 Cleveland, in Ohio, confirmed the station had pulled the song over what he said were the “manipulative and wrong” lyrics.

"The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place,” Mr Anderson wrote in a blog.

Written in 1944 by composer Frank Loesser, the song takes the form of a back-and-forth conversation in which a man tries to convince a woman not to journey home in bad weather and to spend the night with him instead.

The song includes lines such as: “I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)”, “I ought to say no, no, no (Mind if I move in closer)”, and, infamously, “Say, what’s in this drink?”

Some have accused the latter lyric of being an allusion to date rape, whereas others argue the line in the 1930s effectively meant, “I’m telling the truth”.

Sondra Miller, president of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, said the song “pushed the line of consent”.

"The character in the song is saying 'no’, and they're saying well, 'Does no really mean yes?'” she told local news channel WJW. “And I think in 2018 what we know is consent is 'yes' and if you get a 'no', it means 'no' and you should stop right there.”

Star 102 subsequently launched a poll on its Facebook page to gauge what listeners thought of the decision. The overwhelming majority thought the radio station should reverse the ban.

Michelle Obama on the critics of #MeToo

Criticism of the song has been on the rise in recent years, particularly in light of #MeToo, a global movement increasingly holding powerful men to account for sexual harassment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in