The banning of the holiday classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside” because critics suggest it alludes to date rape is ruffling the songwriter’s daughter, who blames the turn of events on Bill Cosby.
“Bill Cosby ruined it for everybody,” Susan Loesser — whose father is legendary songwriter Frank Loesser — told NBC News on Thursday.
“Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
Cleveland’s Star 102.1 radio station pulled the song last week as show of support for the #MeToo movement, with disc jockey Glenn Anderson calling the lyrics to the song “manipulative and wrong.”
Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault of Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004, and accused of doing the same to dozens of more women. In September, he was sentenced to three- to 10-years in prison. He has maintained that his interaction with Constand was consensual and that he had given her Benadryl to help her relax.
Loesser understands the sensitivity of the times and why some might flinch at the lyrics, which include “Say, what’s in this drink?” and “I ought to say no, no, no… At least I’m gonna say that I tried.”
“Absolutely I get it,” Loesser told NBC. “But I think it would be good if people looked at the song in the context of the time. … People used to say ‘what’s in this drink’ as a joke. You know, this drink is going straight to my head so what’s in this drink? Back then it didn’t mean you drugged me.”
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” was sung by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban, as well as Betty Garrett and Red Skelton in the 1949 MGM film “Neptune’s Daughter.” It won the Academy Award that year for Best Original Song.