Dean Martin‘s daughter is speaking out after some suggested “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” promotes rape culture.
“I was absolutely flabbergasted; it’s just insane,” she said of learning about the uproar caused by the song that’s been around for more than 50 years. “When I heard it and I said, ‘This can’t possibly be’ … I tweeted, ‘I think this is crazy, what do you think?’ and then all of a sudden it went viral.”
“More people were for it. They were saying, ‘This is madness, we’ve gone insane now,’ ” Deana continued. “It’s a sweet, flirty, fun, holiday song… There’s nothing bad about that song and it just breaks my heart.”
As for what her father would think, Deana was certain that the charismatic crooner would be against the protests to remove the song from the radio.
“I know my dad would be going insane right now… He would say, ‘What’s the matter with you? Get over it. It’s just a fun song.’ Because he was so sweet,” she admitted. “He would never see anything bad in that. He was a great guy, fun guy, nice. And he wouldn’t want to do anything offensive; that wasn’t Dean Martin. So this has just been outrageous.”
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was first penned by Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) in 1944 as a duet for him to sing with his wife at parties. It’s gone on to become an enduring holiday classic, sung by everyone from Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart, to Michael Bublé and Idina Menzel, to Chris Colfer and Darren Criss on an episode of Glee.
But in recent years the lyrics have raised eyebrows with lines like, “Say, what’s in this drink?” and a back-and-forth where a man tries to convince a woman to stay the night despite her continued protests — “I really can’t,” and “The answer is no.”
“I don’t want to change the lyrics,” Deana argued in response to the questionable lyrics. “Where she says, ‘Hey, what’s in this drink?’ I don’t think she’s talking about some pill being put in that drink. You know, like, ‘Is this punch? You know, what’s in this drink? Is it vodka?’ … It’s just breaking my heart that people would turn that around.”
At the end last month, WDOK Christmas 102.1 in Cleveland, Ohio pulled the song from its 24-hour Christmas rotation because of listener complaints, according to local Fox 8 news.
The station allegedly received a call complaining about the song. After a listener poll on the WDOK website supported this sentiment, station programmers decided to ban it.
“People might say, ‘Oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not [a situation] I would want my daughter to be in,” midday host Desiray told Cleveland’s Fox 8. “The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”
In a blog post on the station’s website, radio host Glenn Anderson further explained the decision:
“I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad… Until I read them,” he wrote. “Now, I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong. The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
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Since pulling the song, several other radio stations have followed suit — but not all listeners have been happy about it.
National Public Radio reported that at least two stations, one in San Francisco and another in Denver, ultimately decided to hold a vote to determine whether the song would be heard on their airwaves.
Brian Figula, the program director at the former, KOIT, described the response as a “tornado,” and the outlet cites “hundreds of comments on social media and via email” that demanded “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” be put back on the playlist.
“People are unbelievably passionate about their Christmas music,” Figula explained. “It’s the one thing that you can’t mess with … [Listeners rely on it] to reminisce to the good old days when life was easy and simple.”