TV & Entertainment

‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Song Deemed Inappropriate for Airplay

An Ohio radio station decided to ban the 1944 song, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ from its Christmas music playlist because of eyebrow-raising lyrics.

A Cleveland radio station decided that in wake of the #MeToo movement, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” shouldn’t be played. Sort of.

The movement has focused on preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault. It has primarily focused on cases in which women were victims of either, or both, although there have been a smaller number of cases in which men have likewise been targets.

One of the radio station’s hosts wrote this of the tune:

“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.”

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” isn’t one of my favorite Christmas songs, but this seems a bit over the top to me.

Especially when the quote seems to come right out and say from the start that people make too much of things. (Maybe that’s not how it was intended, but that’s certainly how I read it.)

So what’s so offensive?

Urban Dictionary defines “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” as a “Christmas Date Rape song,” albeit a song sung by the likes of Bing Crosby and Doris Day!

The song describes a scene with young lovers (or perhaps a man and woman who may not have consummated their love). The woman is about to leave the man’s home and he begins trying to convince her to stay a while longer because “it’s cold outside.”

She keeps resisting, though decides to stay for just half-a-drink more, then just a cigarette more, then another drink. The lyrics paint her as being more concerned with what her family and neighbors will think of her staying there late than any fears she has.

When the man pours her a drink, one line the female part sings is, “What’s in this drink?” which some think may refer to the use of a date rape drug.

The fact that the song was written way back in 1944, when there were certainly different standards, might otherwise be enough to suggest that there were no such dark, ulterior motives imbued into the lyrics.

But these days, anything is suspect and we tend to assume the worst first and ask questions later.

One might wonder how the song might sound if the parts were reversed. If the man is the one trying to innocently leave for the sake of appearances and it’s the woman who’s playing the perceived seductress, how would that play?

Leave it Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to provide an answer:

With the roles reversed, there is a bit of a creepiness to it, although I suspect that most men would view the scenario of being in such demand as a dream come true.

More’s the pity. Those are probably the same kind of men who either don’t recognize genuine sexual harassment for what it is or just don’t see it as a big deal.

The song may play after all! 

That radio station that announced plans not to run the song because of the “overly sensitive” nature of the audience may well end up allowing the song airtime anyway.

They started a poll on the station Facebook page, asking “Should we play ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ during the holiday season?”

At the time of this writing, the poll results showed 94% of voters said yes

So much for taking offense, apparently.

Do you find the song offensive by today’s standards? Should it be played or forgotten?

2 Comments

  1. I see nothing more than the age-old game of love in this song. There are rules to this game, but the #MeToo movement seems to be changing those rules to be more Draconian. I have to believe that most romantic relationships never would have even started without the sort of repartee we hear in the song. If this song is so offensive as to be banned, so then should most of the romantic comedy flicks be put back in their cans.

    1. That’s an excellent point, Connie. And yes, I suspect if everything were viewed through the same lens that’s focused on this one song, there’d suddenly be a lot of movies that were forever out as well.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.