Cleveland radio station WDOK decided last week to remove the classic song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from its holiday rotation over lyrics that, through a #MeToo lens, now seem a little rape-y. And other stations, including KOIT in San Francisco and the CBC, Rogers Media and Bell Media in Canada, quickly followed suit.
Good for them.
Of course, the song has been a lightning rod for at least a decade, with Urban Dictionary dubbing it the “Christmas Date Rape Song” as early as 2006 and the hot takes resurfacing every year since. Even a USC professor with family ties to the song has waded into the frayand says the tune is misunderstood.
Written in 1944 by “Guys and Dolls” composer Frank Loesser, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a call-and-response duet between two characters noted in the song’s original notes as “Wolf” and “Mouse” (gross), according to the Washington Post. They navigate a conversation wherein Mouse should really be leaving for home, but Wolf persuades her to stay.