Susan Loesser, the daughter of Broadway legend Frank Loesser, is speaking out following news that her father’s song,” Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” has been banned from playing on several radio stations.
Speaking to NBC News, Loesser defended her father’s Christmas classic, which was penned by her father in 1994 as a duet for him to sing with his wife at parties, claiming that the controversy surrounding it is a result of Bill Cosby, who was convicted of drugging and assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
“Bill Cosby ruined it for everybody,” Loesser said. “Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
In a December 2015 episode, Saturday Night Live linked the song to Cosby during a skit in which Kenan Thompson, as Cosby, sang “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with a woman on a couch. The skit aired just days before Cosby was charged with criminal sexual assault.
The song, which has been criticized in the past for its lyrics, was pushed back into the spotlight after WDOK Christmas 102.1 in Cleveland, Ohio announced that it would no longer play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as part of its 24-hour Christmas rotation. The station cited the song’s lyrics, including “Say, what’s in this drink?” as the reason, along with listener complaints.
Alleging that her father would be “furious” at the controversy surrounding “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” Loesser explained the meaning behind several of the lyrics that have been dubbed “date-rapey.”
“I think my father would be furious at that,” she said. “People used to say ‘what’s in this drink’ as a joke. You know, ‘this drink is going straight to my head so what’s in this drink?’ Back then it didn’t mean you drugged me…Absolutely I get it. But I think it would be good if people looked at the song in the context of the time. It was written in 1944.”
In addition to the Cleveland station, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has since been banned from playing on other radio stations across the country and the world, including stations in Colorado, California, and Toronto. A station in Denver recently added the song back to its playing list after a poll revealed that 95 percent of listeners wanted to keep it.