Voice coach Kelly Clarkson and John Legend have teamed up to adjust the lyrics to the controversial song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” In a recent interview, Legend said they were doing this update to include consent lyrics to the duet written by Frank Loesser in 1944.
Critics in the #MeToo era have accused the song of promoting date rape, rather than evoking innocent snow-bound flirtation. Radio stations ended up pulling the plug on the holiday classic last year to avoid controversy.
Legend talked to Vanity Fair about giving the tune a modern spin to fit a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve. According to the report, he worked with actress Natasha Rothwell to change the problematic lyrics and later recorded it with Clarkson.
In the new version, Clarkson sings “what will my friends think..”
“I think they should rejoice,” Legend response.
“If I have one more drink?”
It’s your body, and your choice.”
Composed in 1944, Loesser originally wrote “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as a playful call-and-response duet for him and his wife to perform at their housewarming party while their guests were preparing to bid them goodnight.
Over the years there have been small debates over the lecherous tone of the song, dating back to 2004, however, in the past year large media platforms, like the Wall Street Journal, have made the debate seem like a brand new topic.
The controversy grew last December when some Star 102 Cleveland listeners raised concerns about lyrics like “Say, what’s in this drink?” and “baby, don’t hold out,” with some arguing the words send the wrong message in the #MeToo era.