SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Following the lead of several other radio stations in the United States and Canada, Bay Area radio station KOIT said it was banning the Christmas Carol — “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Penned by “Guys and Dolls” writer Frank Loesser in 1944, the Christmas song has been perceived by some as unworthy for the most wonderful time of the year — particularly in the age of #MeToo.
The song’s lyrics describe a woman trying extricate herself from a date and saying “no, no, no,” while a man insists that she stays as he moves in closer, pours her more alcohol, and warns about he weather outside. Critics of the song say the lyrics promote date rape.
“I made the decision, it’s off for now,” Brian Figula, program manager at KOIT radio told KPIX, adding that he is considering leaving the ultimate decision up to the people.
“We might do a poll and let the listeners decide,” he said “I’m very open to putting it in. If they say we need to play it, we will. If not, we won’t.”
The station launched a poll on their website on Tuesday. Listeners can weigh in on whether or not to bring the song back through this coming weekend. KOIT will announce the results of the poll on Monday, December 10th at 7:20 a.m.
Since Figula announced the decision, the station has received many angry emails and social media posts from people upset with the decision, accusing the station of political correctness.
“They’re upset!” said KOIT radio DJ Freska Griarte who has heard from lots of listeners from phone calls and social media posts.
Sarah Burns of Brisbane, Australia said she could understand why some folks felt the song advocated date rape.
“Because he’s in a position of power and he’s keeping her indoors,” Burns said. “It can be a bit sketchy nowadays.”
“I could definitely see where it’s a little uncomfortable when you think about the lyrics being said,” said Genevieve Ellison of San Francisco. “But then so are most of the songs on the radio today, right?”
Meanwhile, radio stations in Cleveland and Denver have banned the song for the holiday season.
In Canada, CBC Radio announced Tuesday it would join at least two other broadcasters in the country — Rogers Media and Bell Media — in keeping the song off their holiday playlists.
CBC spokeswoman Nicola Makoway said the broadcaster planned to remove the song at midnight on Tuesday with “no plans to play it going forward.”
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.