US stars John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have recorded their own updated version of the Christmas hit ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’, after the original track faced controversy from the #MeToo movement.
The song, which debuted in 1944, faced boycotts from radio stations last Christmas after commentators suggested that it raised serious questions about sexual consent.
It was argued that one line of the back-and-forth song – “Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)” – was a reference to date rape.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Legend said he and co-writer Natasha Rothwell had penned some contemporary lyrics for the song, which sees him joining forces with American Idol winner Clarkson.
The new version includes the lines: “What will my friends think? (I think they should rejoice) / If I have one more drink? (It’s your body, and your choice).”
It will feature on Legend’s seasonal album ‘A Legendary Christmas’.
The controversy surrounding the song erupted last year when the Star 102 radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, pulled ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ from its playlist after a string of complaints.
Glenn Anderson, a host at the station, says that although the song was written in a different era, the lyrics feel “manipulative and wrong”.
“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place”, he wrote.
However, others argued it should be understood in the context of the day – which means she wanted to “get down and stay over.”
The song was originally written by Frank Loesser in 1944, recorded for the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter’ and won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1950.
It’s since been covered by an array of high-profile singers including Tom Jones, Michael Bublé, Lady Gaga, as well as big-screen stars Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the iconic festive comedy Elf.