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.

“They’re like, ‘why are you guys doing this? What is going on? It’s just a song.  While for some people, it means something more,”  Griarte explained.

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.

Comments (41)
  1. chuckl8 says:

    It’s good to know that people are finally aware that celebrating the predatory male is 100% wrong. That time is past.

  2. Terri Lampe says:

    omg, that’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Well, in the past 24 hours at least. this may be stupider than the PETA billboard saying you can’t be a feminist and eat eggs…. Get a grip folks.

    1. Mary Winslow says:

      Some people don’t have enough to do. They are on high alert for anything about which they can be offended. This plain dumb..

  3. Don Scott says:

    This is crazy. What songs will be next? Sexy songs like: “Make Yourself Comfortable”? “Love is Strange”?

  4. Margo Francisco says:

    Enough already! The song is a classic and I’m amazed anyone has enough time on their hands to analyze the words. If you don’t like the song, don’t listen. The rest of us enjoy a fun (and harmless) 70 year old song.

  5. Lu Shoberg says:

    Ridiculous! This is a nice, sexy song. I’m a strong minded female, and I like it.

  6. Dino Ghilarducci says:

    This is a 1944 song!!! It should not be banned. Next you will want to ban any song about the Virgin Mary saying it’s too confusing!!! Get a life people.

  7. Jeffrey Allen Warner says:

    Im surprised backdoor Santa by Clarence Carter isint being banned.

  8. Mary Thomas says:

    I just Googled the song’s lyrics, and it’s interesting to see how opinion and PC correctness change over decades. I can understand how based on today’s standards, the lyrics would not be PC correct. However, back when the song was written (1944), society frowned on any woman staying over at a man’s place and she would be thought of as having loose morals. As to “Say what’s in this drink?,” back then and even today, for some the implication has nothing to do with date-rape drugging but is more a commentary on the strength of the alcohol as an excuse for affecting one’s judgement. As a woman who was part of the Women’s Rights Movement of the 60-70’s, I could argue the lyrics illustrated a woman’s struggle to liberate herself from society/family judgment and spend the night with her lover…it’s all about perspective.

    1. Chuck Lantz says:

      Good points.

    2. Stephen Calder says:

      Exactly Mary Thomas. “The song’s lyrics describe a woman trying extricate herself from a date…” This is false. The lyrics describe a woman who very much wanted to stay with the man, and yet was unable to due to the contemporary social mores. She is in fact searching, along with the man, for a way to make it happen, testing the waters of using the weather as an excuse. “…. and saying “no, no, no,” Great journalism, KPIX / CBS, you’ve managed to stay just short of outright lying. The actual lyric: ‘I OUGHT TO SAY, no, no, no sir’ “…as he moves in closer,” And again, the actual lyric, in which he asks for her consent: ‘mind if I move in closer?’ “he pours her more alcohol,” Yes, KPIX / CBS, he does. At her request. ‘But maybe just a half a drink more…’ I realize that in a world ensconced in the Age of The Endarkenment, in which the natural and healthy male-female polarity of sexual dynamics, along with most other instances of truth and beauty are to be excised from the public discourse, such as it has become. But, I would at least advise the major institutions of journalism (such as it’s become) when flexi-porting to at least do so on things less easy to verify.

  9. Dennis Barnes says:

    Sad world’ sad to imagin folks believing this song supports unfair treatment to anyone. Folks, get a grip

  10. Sammy Kiser says:

    totally ridiculous. Rudolph the Red Nose Rein deer should be banned because he was bullied. this is such a soft society it makes me sick. you can’t name team’s Indians and if the bears,dolphins, lions etc could talk those names would be banned. The United States the baby society.

  11. Linda Vermillion Montgomery says:

    What the survey leaves out is WHY the song bothers some us. “Offended” is not the correct word. Try using the word “triggered” instead. The song triggers my PTSD because I was once in a very similar situation that did not end well, not allowed to leave, and forced into a sex act I had refused several times. I did say “No” repeatedly and was physically prevented from leaving. It kills my Christmas spirit and makes me queasy when that song plays.

    The fact that the survey uses the word “offended” rather than “triggered” indicates the writer has a bias against survivors of sexual assault.

    But hey, in the spirit of the season; who cares that one out of every three women has their PTSD triggered by this song? Lets continue teaching young boys that this type of coercion is perfectly fine and keep rape culture perasive in our society by reinforcing 1940’s attitudes every Christmas. (Sarcasm)

    I have choices and simply won’t listen to any radio station that plays this song. Listening to my choice of Christmas music through iTunes is commercial free anyway. Sorry advertisers.

  12. Amber Renee says:

    This has got to be the stupidest (Well one of them ) Thing Ive ever heard. Who the hell has time to nit-pick every word form a Holiday song that has been around for years and try to ban It ?!!! Waaaaaaaaaay to much time on your hands people, I mean really. This is what we are focusing On ??!!

  13. Valerie Davis says:

    Here we go. Socialism. Next we’re reporting on our neighbors for profit and self preservation. It happens in bits and pieces. Divide and conquer. No loyalty. No security. Government in control of media. Too bad. And I’m a liberal..Lest we forget. Have we learned nothing?

  14. Asinine! This is classic song. Santa is a stalker, and breaks and enters, Frosty is a criminal ignoring the cop, Grandma got run over by a reindeer (a gory image), was Rudolph really a drunk? And Mommy cheated with Santa! Let’s ban them all!

  15. Guess I just won’t listen to KOIT anymore… problem solved!

  16. Fred Stiening says:

    Immediately after the duet with Fernando Lamas and Esther Williams, Red Skelton and Betty Garret sing the same song with the woman being the aggressor.

    What the smattering of radio people really object to is a man and a woman falling in love and getting married.

  17. Donna Pizzulli Soutar says:

    Ridiculous…. I will now boycott KOIT.

    1. Sammy Kiser says:

      this country needs a pacifier!!

  18. Rod Gebo says:

    KOIT Radio , are you complete idiots banning “Baby it’s Cold Outside”?