By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau radio station has pulled a Christmas staple from its holiday playlist, citing concerns over lyrics that could be offensive in the light of the #MeToo movement.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” the duet in which a man tries to dissuade a woman from leaving a party despite her repeated protestations, will not air this season on 95.5 WIFC, according to Nikki Montgomery, the station’s brand manager.
Montgomery said the decision was based on an internal conversation at the station, rather than feedback from listeners.
“We’re never hurt by what we don’t play,” Montgomery said. “If people are dying to hear the song, they’ll find a way to hear it.”
Written by Frank Loesser in 1944, Baby It’s Cold Outside has been covered by Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews and actors Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the movie Elf.
The tune takes the form of a back-and-forth conversation where a man tries to persuade his female guest not to risk the journey home in bad weather, but to have another drink and spend the night with him instead.
Typically performed as a duet between a man and a woman, it features lyrics such as:
“I simply must go (But baby it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside).”
Another line, “Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)”, is perhaps one of the most controversial, and has been interpreted by some as a reference to date rape.
Montgomery said the lyrics have long made her feel uncomfortable, and pointed out that other stations nationwide, including Star 102, WDOK-FM in Cleveland, have also pulled the song.
But, Montgomery said, the decision could change for next year depending on feedback from listeners.