Toledo responds to the classic Christmas song now causing controversy

Toledo responds to the classic Christmas song now causing controversy

TOLEDO (WTOL) - “Baby, It's Cold Outside” was once known as a Christmas Classic, but now it's under fire. Some radio stations went as far as to ban the song from their airways.

However, locally you will be hearing it on 101.5 The River a lot this weekend.

The song is getting a lot of attention, a lot more than it normally does around Christmas.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was originally written in 1944 by a couple to sing at dinner parties, but now in the midst of the “Me too” movement the song is being criticized.

“I have to say that I understand the controversy around it,” said Aaron Baker, a west Toledo man. “I don’t have a really strong feeling on it one way or the other. My daughter does not like it, am I allowed to say, she calls it the date rape song.”

Others feel it’s a good debate to have, but think the song should be played.

“Just like rap music, county music it’s all derogatory in some way,” said Brooke Helton.

"There's even songs on top 40 that could be perceived offensive, so I feel like just picking and singling out just one song is an issue," added Chris Helton, at Children’s Wonderland with his family for the night.

"It's just a song you know,” said Tyrell Smith, a Toledo resident. “At the end of the day everybody has their own assumptions, you know how they perceive a song."

Well what about the official Christmas Station here in Toledo? After other radio stations banned the song, listeners asked them what they would do.

They responded by asking what their audience wanted.

“We asked our listeners what do you think,” said Scott Miller, program director for 101.5 The River. “Do you think that this is something we should remove from the airwaves and they flat out said absolutely not.”

In fact, they put a second poll up asking how much their listeners wanted to hear the song. They said the result was a majority wanted to hear the song every hour at the top of the hour, so all weekend long that’s what they will get.

Leaders at The River say they are sympathetic to the concerns of those who feel the song is offensive, but they listened to what people asked. They also feel if you think of the song the way it was written, it makes a difference.

“We’ve seen a big change in how we react to sexual harassment, how we react to women’s rights,” said Scott Miller. “Now there’s been no better advocate for women issues than 101.5 The River. We’ve proven that over the years, so being sensitive to that we do recognize it. In the same breath do we think that this (song debate) should take precedence over some real issues probably not. It’s a song. Our listeners have said you know what, we get it, we understand it so,it’s okay go ahead and play it.”

Some appreciate that they will get to hear the tune all season long this year.

“We love it,” said Brooke Helton.

"I love it, I love Christmas music in general," added Chris Helton.

Radio station leaders say they don’t think the debate will last for years to come.

"Next year when Christmas season pops up, it will be an afterthought," said Miller.

The River will play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” at the top of the hour all weekend long if you want to hear the controversial tune for yourself.

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