The 2019 iteration of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a pointless distraction away from the real issues of sexual assault and consent. John Legend partnered up with Kelly Clarkson to remake the holiday classic appropriate in the current politically correct #MeToo era.
In 1944, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was written by award-winning songwriter Frank Loesser, and the song won an Oscar for Best Original Song after being featured in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter.” The song is a duet between a man and a woman. The woman sings about wanting to leave early, and the man tries to seduce her to stay longer even after she said no multiple times.
After 70 years, people reanalyzed the song and labeled it as creepy and normalizing date rape. The most triggering lyrics are: “I’ve got to go away…Hey, what’s in this drink?”
The song does warrant concern and sound very realistic as to what a person would say in a dangerous situation. When the female continues to sing about wanting to leave but is interjected by the male, there is no doubt it mirrors situations many women go through. It is not playful or glamorous as the song or film portrays.
John Legend’s version seems like an honest attempt to draw attention from the past and become a figure of positive masculinity. Legend has made actions that reflect him as one of the few decent human beings in Hollywood with him being a high-profile celebrity who spoke against R. Kelly in the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
However, digging up a song that is almost 100 years old, changing a few words and releasing it with the end goal of making money does close to nothing. The song has been parodied, sung by many other artists and reduced to white noise.
The new song exploits and draws attention away from the subject of inappropriate behavior toward women. It seems to be a shallow ploy to make money off of a song that does not require much reworking. Also, it is an attempt to pander toward millennials and Generation Z because they are some of the main people for social justice. Controversies cause attention, which leads to listens or views.
Instead of repurposing generational products like TV shows or songs from the past without providing intelligent criticisms, release media that informs and critiques aspects from the past.
Immoral behavior like in the 1950s sitcom, “The Honeymooners,” where a husband constantly says he would hit his wife, should be used as an example of how not to act in a relationship and it is a form of abuse. Remaking the show but removing the dialogue of physical abuse does not reflect an understanding because it is still used as entertainment; therefore, the abuse is seen as a not substantially big deal.
Ignoring or creating a revisionist history of the problem could cause a repeat of the mistakes our ancestors made.