Classic Christmas tune banned from San Francisco airwaves amid #MeToo movement

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
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KOIT says he started receiving complaints after the story of a station in Cleveland, Ohio decided to pull the Christmas classic, "Baby It's Cold Outside" from rotation after some likened the lyrics to date rape.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Christmas tunes at 96.5, KOIT have been in rotation 24/7 since noon, the Friday before Thanksgiving. But one song being left off the feel good playlist this year is one that's instead making many women feel-- uncomfortable.

Brian Figula, program director at KOIT says he started receiving complaints after the story of a station in Cleveland, Ohio decided to pull the Christmas classic, "Baby It's Cold Outside" from rotation after some likened the lyrics to date rape where a woman is forced to do something she doesn't want to do.

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"The #MeToo Movement has really opened our eyes and really made us look at content and lyrics. I think we need to do a deep dive. It depends on how extremely we want to do this. There's a song by Pentatonix called Hallelujah and there are some negative comments and some negative language in there so we decided to remove that song as well."

The decision to not play "Baby It's Cold Outside" has opened the door to discussion on what constitutes offensive. KOIT recently received an email complaining about the song "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". The listener said it was offensive because it promoted bullying.

Janet Johnston who was visiting San Francisco for a convention shook her head when she heard about the email.

"We need to stop taking ourselves so seriously! We are just making everything too politically charged and personal! I just think it's silly!"

Other women tended to agree, until they read the lyrics more closely. Particularly lyrics such as:

"Say what's in this cabs to be had out there" got one woman we spoke with changing her tune about the song.

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"Well yeah, now that seems inappropriate! I do understand why some people might be."

Back at KOIT, the nonstop holiday music will continue through Dec. 26 at 2am. All with one goal in mind.

"The whole mission is to make everybody feel good when they listen and not to have anybody feel excluded," beams Teri King, midday host and assistant program director.

Here are the complete lyrics written by Frank Loesser in 1944:

(I really can't stay) But, baby, it's cold outside
(I've got to go away) But, baby, it's cold outside
(This evening has been) Been hoping that you'd drop in
(So very nice) I'll hold your hands they're just like ice

(My mother will start to worry) Beautiful, what's your hurry

(My father will be pacing the floor) Listen to the fireplace roar
(So really I'd better scurry) Beautiful, please don't hurry
(Well, maybe just half a drink more) Put some records on while I pour

(The neighbors might think) Baby, it's bad out there
(Say what's in this drink) No cabs to be had out there
(I wish I knew how) Your eyes are like starlight now
(To break this spell) I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell

(I ought to say no, no, no, sir) Mind if I move in closer
(At least I'm gonna say that I tried) What's the sense of hurting my pride
(I really can't stay) Baby, don't hold doubt
Baby, it's cold outside

(I simply must go) Baby, it's cold outside
(The answer is no) Baby, it's cold outside
(The welcome has been) How lucky that you dropped in

(So nice and warm) Look out the window at the storm

(My sister will be suspicious) Gosh your lips look delicious
(My brother will be there at the door) Waves upon a tropical shore
(My maiden aunt's mind is vicious) Gosh your lips are delicious
(But maybe just a cigarette more) Never such a blizzard before

(I got to get home) But, baby, you'd freeze out there
(Say lend me a coat) It's up to your knees out there
(You've really been grand) I thrill when you touch my hand
(But don't you see) How can you do this thing to me

(There's bound to be talk tomorrow) Think of my life long sorrow
(At least there will be plenty implied) If you caught pneumonia and died
(I really can't stay) Get over that old doubt
Baby, it's cold
Baby, it's cold outside