The times they are a-changin’.
On Tuesday, CBC announced that it would no longer be playing the Christmas classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on its stations, a move that coincides with other media giants, Rogers media and Bell media.
The removal of the song comes after years of building controversy by some, who believe the 1944 holiday song is inappropriate.
“Song lyrics are always open to interpretation, and we fully acknowledge there are two camps regarding this issue,” said CBC public affairs head Chuck Thompson.
“While we consider both points of view, and in light of the times we are living in, we have chosen to remove the song, for the time being, from two of our holiday music streams.”
Meanwhile, Rogers media, which runs a number of radio stations including Victoria’s Ocean 98.5, has also pulled the song from their Christmas playlists.
Rogers Spokesperson Caitlin Decarie told CBC that the broadcaster removed the song this year, but did not provide details on how the company reached the decision.
“There are so many wonderful songs that celebrate the holiday season,” she told CBC.
The controversial Christmas song met with positive reviews when it was first released in 1944.
The song then skyrocketed in popularity after it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1949’s Neptune’s Daughter.
However, concern over the 69-year-old duet and has existed for years, resulting in plenty of complaints and re-imaginings of the lyrics.
Two years ago, a version by Minnesota couple Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski went viral for its re-written lyrics like “I ought to say no, no, no” and “You reserve the right to say no.”
Meanwhile, the Christmas tune still has many defenders, including feminist website FemPositive, which advocates for the importance of the song’s historical context and dated social cues.
“The woman in the song says outright, multiple items, that what other people think of her staying is what she’s really concerned about,” reads the blog article that FemPositive highlights.
“…But she’s having a really good time, and she wants to say, and so she is excusing her uncharacteristically bold behaviour (either to the guy or to herself) by blaming it on the drink – unaware that the drink is actually really weak, maybe not alcoholic at all.”
“That’s the joke. That is the standard joke that’s going on when a woman in media from the early-to-mid 20th century says, ‘hey, what’s in this drink?’ It is not a joke about how she’s drunk and about to be raped. It’s a joke about how she’s perfectly sober and about to have awesome consensual sex and use the drink for plausible deniability because she’s living in a society where women aren’t supposed to have sexual agency.”
The song has been covered countless times by a range of artists including Ray Charles, Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, and many more.