It took 74 years for radio listeners to realize the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser should have been cut before it ever hit the airwaves.
The 1944 Christmas “classic” promotes the idea of date rape, as the lyrics describe a man pressuring a woman to stay while she repeats “no, no, no,” and insists on leaving his house.
When the woman is telling the man she needs to leave, the man rebounds her suggestion with “baby, it’s cold outside.”
Even though this song may seem cheesy or harmless at first, the man is disturbingly coercive if you really listen to the lyrics of the song. The same goes for the performance of the song in the 1949 musical “Neptune’s Daughter,” as the man advances several times, blocking the woman’s path to exit his house.
“I ought to say ‘no, no, no, sir (Mind if I move in closer?),’” you can see the persistence the man took when getting denied a couple times. We live in a time where it’s common for women to experience sexual harassment in the workplace or get cat-called on the street. According to NSVRC, 91 percent of victims of rape and sexual assaults are females, and nine percent are male.
Given the song’s allusion to rejecting a woman’s rejections, it seems fitting that the song gets banned as another step in forward progress for eliminating this behavior.
Some radio listeners in Cleveland responded with backlash to the song, according to CNN, specifically to the line, “say, what’s in this drink?” being singled out for scrutiny.
Several radio stations in the U.S. banned the song from playing after Star102 FM from Cleveland refused to play it and were receiving complaints from their own listeners.
The #MeToo campaign and sexual allegations against Bill Cosby have opened listeners eyes and ears to the man’s sinister nature. The creator’s daughter, Susan Loesser, blamed Cosby in an interview with NBC for the backlash this Christmas track is getting from listeners.
The song is supposed to be a family friendly song to get listeners in the holiday spirit and instead, it praises men for asserting unwanted sexual advances. With the aftermath of women coming out as victims of sexual assault, this controversial song has no place on the radio.
While some might fret over the controversy of banning a “celebrated” song from the radio, this is not the first instance of this happening. Take for example, the 2013 Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines.”
The whole song is about men receiving mixed signals from women, and reacting with “I know you want it” lyrics from the song. It highlights the negative view men have on women.
With all the controversy surrounding this Christmas song, I feel it has deservedly earned a spot in the blacklist of radio songs.