Madison radio station pulls ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

Madison radio station pulls ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

A Madison radio station has pulled a now-controversial seasonal song from its airwaves, a station leader said.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting Program Director Fletcher Keyes said he took all versions of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” out of rotation on Hank AM 1550 and 97.7 FM Monday.

“It’s describing a scenario that wouldn’t be OK today, so we didn’t feel that we had to have it,” Keyes said. “We didn’t want to feel that we were OK with that type of relationship situation.”

Keys said he takes what is played on the station very seriously and believes the song could bring up bad feelings.

“Many of our listeners have likely said no and have been disrespected. If by playing that song it makes just one listener have emotion or anger from an incident then it’s not worth playing,” Keys said.

Hank switched from its regular lineup of classic country songs to country Christmas music Nov. 22, and the holiday tunes — minus the debated duet — will play through Christmas Day.

“If we all believe ‘no means no,’ how can you play that song?”

Keyes said there haven’t been any complaints about “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to the station, but that the tone of the song in 2018 is different from when it was originally written in the 1940s.

“I think especially for a song that’s been around as long as that one has, the re-examination of it was important and timely,” Keyes said.

He said he pulled the song after reading about another station that had done the same.

A Cleveland radio station playing Christmas music recently pulled the song because it wasn’t appropriate in the era of the #MeToo movement that’s focused on bringing awareness to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Local radio station Hank is playing country Christmas music all season long. One song you won’t hear is Baby It’s Cold Outside. Critics of the song believe it promotes date rape. The @RapeCrisisDane says the move is a step in the right direction.

— Keely Arthur (@news3keely) December 7, 2018

Mid-West Family Broadcasting owns and manages dozens of radio stations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri, including eight in Madison.

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