WAKY-FM in Louisville, Kentucky played the song, penned by Frank Loesser in 1994, on repeat during a two-hour marathon on Sunday in response to the recent renewed controversy regarding the tune’s lyrics, which have prompted a number of radio stations around the country to ban the song from their airwaves.
“I'm not sure why it's controversial," Joe Fredele, director of programming for WAKY, told WLKY. "We've played this song for years, you know, this song is older than WAKY is. It's almost 70 years old."
Although the song played on repeat with no interruptions from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday, listeners were treated to five different versions of the tune, which has been covered by dozens of artists throughout the years.
“It's just a fun way of saying, 'Hey this our vote for that song. It's a fun song. It's a romantic song, don't pick on it,'" Fredele explained.
While Fredele claimed that he supports the #MeToo movement, which is being credited for the recent controversy, he said that he was unable to understand why “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was singled out.
“This song is not about that. All it is, is a dialogue between a man and a woman, and at the end of the song, you hear them harmonize together, so they're agreeing basically," he said.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was originally penned in 1944 by Loesser to be sung as a duet between himself and his wife at parties. In recent years, however, the lyrics have been scrutinized, with many claiming that lines like “Say, what’s in this drink?” are “date-rapey.”
WDOK Christmas 102.1 in Cleveland, Ohio, self-dubbed “Cleveland’s Christmas station,” banned the song earlier this month, citing listener complaints. In a blog on the station’s website, radio host Glenn Anderson explained the reason for banning it, explaining that he never understood the controversy until he sat down and read the lyrics.
“I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad…Until I read them,” he wrote. “Now, I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong. The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
The song has since been banned from playing on other radio stations across the country and the world, including stations in Colorado, California, and Toronto. A Denver radio station recently reinstated the song, however, after a poll revealed that 95 percent of listeners wanted to keep it.