December 17, 2018
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WLKY) — A Kentucky radio station is wading into the controversy over the classic Christmas song, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside.' While stations across the country are pulling the song from their playlists, WAKY in Elizabethtown held a two-hour marathon this weekend.
"I'm not sure why it's controversial," said Joe Fredele, director of programming for WAKY. "We've played this song for years, you know, this song is older than WAKY is. It's almost 70 years old."
The song has come under fire as the #MeToo movement has brought the issue of consent to the forefront with critics saying the song sends the wrong message.
"We really need to think about the impact that songs have, not just 'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' but numerous songs that we decide to play on the radio," said Amy Turner, the director of sexual assault services at The Center for Women and Families.
Fredele said he supports the #MeToo movement but does not understand why this particular song is being singled out.
"This song is not about that. All it is, is a dialogue between a man and a woman, and at the end of the song, you hear them harmonize together, so they're agreeing basically," Fredele explained.
WAKY played five versions of the song, which has been remade by dozens of artists since the original was released in 1944, exclusively Sunday morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
"It's just a fun way of saying, 'Hey this our vote for that song. It's a fun song. It's a romantic song, don't pick on it,'" Fredele explained.
While The Center for Women and Families does not have an official position on the song, Turner said she believes the controversy shows progress.
"The reason that there's any sort of conversation is because there is a conversation about sexual assault and the treatment of women in particular," Turner said.