Ohio radio station stops playing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ after listener protest

CLEVELAND (WSVN) — An Ohio radio station has stopped playing a holiday classic after it said listeners complained about the the song’s predatory undertones.

According to Fox 8, WDOK in Cleveland pulled the song from their holiday lineup after receiving a call from a listener who suggested the song may be inappropriate, especially at the height of the #MeToo movement.

The song, written in 1944, tells the story of a man trying to convince his female guest to stay with him as it snows outside. However, she remains hesitant and rebuffs his advances.

Certain lyrics of the song have taken on a different tone in recent times, with lines like “Say what’s in this drink?” and “The answer is no” bringing up questions about consent.

“It wasn’t really our decision. It’s the decision of our listeners,” said WDOK midday host Desiray, according to Fox 8.

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO Sondra Miller said her organization supports the decision.

“I think it’s taking a 2018 lens on a song that was written a very long time ago,” she said, saying the move reflects changing values.

“It really pushed the line of consent,” Miller told Fox 8. “The character in the song is saying ‘no,’ and they’re saying well, ‘does no really mean yes?’ and I think in 2018, what we know is consent is ‘yes’ and if you get a ‘no,’ it means ‘no’ and you should stop right there.”

The station has created a poll on their Facebook, asking listeners if they should play the song. As of 2:45 p.m. Friday, 94 percent of the over 2,300 voters were in favor of playing the song.

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