Kentucky radio station plays "Baby, It's Cold Outside" on repeat for hours, defying critics who've banned it

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

CTM co-hosts discuss "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

A radio station in Louisville, Kentucky, is taking a stand on the controversy over the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside." While some stations have banned the song this year, WAKY took the opposite approach — playing it on repeat for hours.

WAKY promised to continuously play the song from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday and, according to CBS Louisville station WLKY, they did just that. To keep listeners from getting too bored of the song, WAKY played different versions of it.

The controversy erupted earlier this month when a Cleveland radio station said it would stop playing the popular Christmas song that's been around since the 1940s. Some Star 102 Cleveland listeners raised concerns about lyrics like "Say, what's in this drink" and "Baby, don't hold out," with some arguing the words send the wrong message in the #MeToo era.

Other radio stations followed in Star 102's footsteps, pulling the song from airwaves. But one San Francisco station that stopped playing the song put it back into rotation after polling listeners. More than three-quarters of KOIT listeners opposed banning the song, the station's program director, Brian Figula, said.

The debate over the song has been widely discussed across social media. WAKY proclaimed "WE LOVE THE SONG" on Facebook when announcing their two-hour marathon on Saturday.

"I'm not sure why it's controversial,"said Joe Fredele, the station's director of programming. "We've played this song for years, you know, this song is older than WAKY is. It's almost 70 years old."

Fredele said he supports the #MeToo movement but does not agree with the outrage over this particular song. "This song is not about that," he said. "All it is, is a dialogue between a man and a woman, and at the end of the song, you hear them harmonize together, so they're agreeing, basically."

Other listeners feel the woman in the song is trying to get away from the man, with lyrics like "I ought to say no, no, no," while the man persists in trying to get her to spend the night. Online, the debate continues.

You can argue that "Baby its cold outside" isn't a date rape song all you want but just explain one line for me: "Say…what's in this drink?"

— Brent Alan Godwin (@ohmy__godwin) December 10, 2018

“baby its cold outside” has made me uncomfortable since i knew the term ‘date-rape’. its an ugly rapey song and i turn it off when it comes on the radio

— ☆𝒶𝓈𝒽𝓁𝑒𝒾𝑔𝒽☽ (@cashleigh_) December 18, 2018

If Baby Its Cold Outside is banned because of Date Rape- ban Santa Clause is coming to town for Making Santa a Creepy Stalker or Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer for Elderly Abuse. #Hypocrites #HolidayClassics

— Crazy Cat Lady (@PresidentDeku) December 18, 2018

First published on December 18, 2018

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