Even though debate has emerged whether or not the classic holiday song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has sexual harassment inferences, “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King defended the controversial tune on Thursday, The Hill reports.
As King and the co-hosts of the show Norah O’Donnell and John Dickerson debated if America was becoming a little too politically correct after the song was removed from the holiday playlist of Cleveland radio station WDOK last week, King took sides with the song even though she said she would get “hammered” for her response.
“We are losing our sense of humor nowadays,” King said. O’Donnell was instead concerned about the song’s negative connotations, while King thought it was just flirtatious.
“And I’m a big supporter and proponent of the #MeToo movement,” King continued. “But I just don’t think we have to nitpick every single little thing.”
“It’s a Christmas song that was written years ago, and you have to look at the intent of the song. And when you look at the intent of the song, to me, it’s a very flirtatious back-and-forth between the two of them. I think you can look at anything and read something in to it these days,” she added. “I just don’t think that was the case when they wrote that song.”
At issue are the song’s lyrics that involves a woman pushing back and trying to leave singing: “I simply must go…” as the male says “the answer is no.” And there is a line that says: “say, what’s in this drink?” that some believe indicates that the man slipped the woman a drug to incapacitate her.
Listeners complained and the song was removed from the Cleveland station’s holiday song list. In addition to WDOK, stations in Denver and San Francisco have followed suit.
Sondra Miller, the president and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, told a local news station that the lyrics “pushed the line of consent.”
“It really pushed the line of consent,” Miller told WGNTV. “The character in the song is saying ‘no,’ and they’re saying well, ‘does no really mean yes?’ and I think in 2018 what we know is consent is ‘yes’ and if you get a ‘no,’ it means ‘no’ and you should stop right there.”
But after the song was pulled from Denver’s KOSI, listeners who apparently agree with King responded to a poll, overwhelmingly supporting bringing the song back. At least 15,000 listeners voted that the song should stay on the air, according to NPR.
“While we are sensitive to those who may be upset by some of the lyrics, the majority of our listeners have expressed their interpretation of the song to be non-offensive,” Program Director Jim Lawson said in a statement.