CBC reinstates Baby, It's Cold Outside amid audience reaction

Citing audience input, CBC has reversed its decision to remove the holiday track Baby, It's Cold Outside from seasonal playlists.

Duet penned in 1944 came under scrutiny for what some consider to be inappropriate lyrics

Baby, It's Cold Outside has been performed by celebrities from Ray Charles to Michael Bublé. In the 1949 film Neptune's Daughter, it was performed by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban. (MGM/YouTube)

Citing audience input, CBC has reversed its decision to remove the holiday track Baby, It's Cold Outside from seasonal playlists.

"Last week, we decided to press pause to consider the different points of view on playing Baby, It's Cold Outside. Because we value our audience input, which was overwhelmingly to include the song, we have put it back on the two playlists where it had been removed," Chuck Thompson, CBC's head of public affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.

"Appreciating not everyone interprets lyrics the same way, listeners may wish to skip the song as we understand not everyone will agree with this decision."

In the last few years, the winter-season duet penned in 1944 has come under increased scrutiny for what some consider to be inappropriate lyrics. 

In late November, a Cleveland radio station announced it had stopped playing Baby, It's Cold Outside in response to listeners who took issue with the call-and-response tune, in which one singer attempts to cajole the other to stick around and not leave.

Other U.S. stations followed suit, though several — including stations in San Francisco and Denver — have also added the tune back onto their playlists after conducting listener polls.

Last week, CBC and two other broadcasters noted the song had been removed from their musical rotations this year, sparking multiple headlines, opinion pieces and vigorous debate on social media. The controversy also appeared to send different versions of the song up holiday sales and streaming charts, according to music outlet Billboard. 

Bell Media, which runs a pair of 24-hour Christmas stations, said it hadn't included Baby, It's Cold Outside on its playlist this year and didn't plan to reintroduce it in the future, according to a spokesperson.

Rogers, which operates several all-Christmas music stations, said last week it had removed the song without noting a reason why. There is no change to the earlier decision, Caitlin Decarie, communications manager for Rogers Radio, said Tuesday afternoon.

With files from The Canadian Press

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