‘Date rape song’ Baby It’s Cold Outside banned

Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán's perform

Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán's perform"Baby It's Cold Outside in the 1949 film"Neptune's Daughter

The controversy surrounding "Baby, It's Cold Outside" began when a radio station in the United States said that it was removing the song from its playlists over concerns that the song was tacitly about sexual assault.

He announced on the pop music station's website this week that the song would no longer be in its around-the-clock rotation of holiday music.

American comedian Jen Kirkman said the song is not just about a man trying to coerce a woman but about the woman knowing her reputation would be ruined for staying in the context of the 1940s. The duet normally has a male singer offering "a half a drink more" in an effort to keep the woman around, despite her concerns her parents will be anxious.

Glenn Anderson, a host at the Star 102 station, explained in a blog, now blocked for security reasons, that although the song was written in a different era, the lyrics felt "manipulative and wrong".

Anderson went on to say, "In a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place".

"I really can't stay", intones one half of the "Baby, It's Cold Outside" duet - and it seems one Cleveland radio station agrees with the sentiment.

The line "say, what's in this drink", has drawn particular criticism from some who believe it hints that the woman's drink has been spiked.

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The #MeToo movement exploded on social media past year after accusations of sexual abuse were made public against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Actors Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel also sing "Baby It's Cold Outside" in the Christmas film Elf.

"The song wasn't scheduled for airplay on any Bell Media Radio stations and there are no plans to play it in the future", he wrote in an emailed statement.

WDOK Christmas 102.1 said the lyrics were predatory as a man tries to stop a woman from leaving a party despite her repeated protestations. But one of her lines, "Say, what's in this drink?" jumps out in this time of powerful men like Bill Cosby having to pay the consequences of sexual assault.

While it is certainly not the first year that the song's lyrics have been put under the microscope, it is the first year that radio stations around the world are opting to leave it off the airwaves - likely in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement.

While another did see how the lyrics were inappropriate, but pointed out by not playing the song won't change much.

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