A radio station in Cleveland has reportedly pulled “Baby It's Cold Outside" from its rotation of Christmas music after receiving complaints from listeners over the track’s predatory undertones.
WDOK Christmas 102.1 confirmed to a local Tribune news station that it won’t be playing the song in its rotation this holiday season after listeners voiced concerns.
The duet, which was written in the 1940s, features a woman singing about how she must be leaving a man's home, while he tries to convince her not to, pointing to the winter weather.
“I really can’t stay,” the woman sings, to which the man sings in response, “but baby, it’s cold outside.”
At another point, the woman questions “say, what’s in this drink?” and goes on to sing “I simply must go… the answer is no.”
"What's the sense of hurtin' my pride?" the man asks.
WDOK midday host Desiray said it “wasn't really” the station’s decision to pull the song but that the Christmas lineup is decided by listeners.
The DJ told WGN-9 that in a poll on WDOK's website, a vast majority of listeners voted to remove the song from the holiday rotation, with many arguing that the lyrics take on a new meaning amid the current #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.
“People might say, ‘oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it's not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation,” Desiray said. “The tune might be catchy, but let's maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”
Sondra Miller, the president and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President, told the outlet the organization supports the decision.
“I think it's taking a 2018 lens on a song that was written a very long time ago,” she said.
“It really pushed the line of consent,” Miller added. “The character in the song is saying ‘no,’ and they're saying well, ‘does no really mean yes?’ 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.”