USC professor explains origins of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' amid backlash in #MeToo era

LOS ANGELES -- The Christmas classic "Baby, It's Cold Outside" has been yanked off the airwaves from several radio stations in the era of #MeToo.

It all started when a radio station in Cleveland chose to ban the song and then others across the nation followed suit due to date rape undertones. But a USC professor with family ties to the composer, Frank Leosser, said it's all a big mistake.

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"My great uncle was the producer of 'Guys and Dolls," and 'How To Succeed in Business' and a variety of other Frank Leosser shows and was involved somehow in the creation of this song. I've heard this story since I was so little that I couldn't even sing," Karen North said.

The story, according to North, started when the composer and his wife would leave lavish Hollywood parties. Years later, it became a movie.

"In the movie, it was about a man pursuing a woman and a woman pursuing a man. It was sung in both directions. It was not about a male predator," North said.

Still, people seem to have mixed reactions about the hit song - especially when hearing the line, "What's in this drink?"

North said her uncle and others involved with the original song would likely not understand today's interpretation of the classic.

"He would want music to bring joy to people. I think he would be heartbroken that people think of this as a negative thing," she said.

She specifically addressed the "What's in this drink?" line, saying it's not about a date rape drug being put in a drink, it's about a woman's excuse because she's had too much to drink and is referring to alcohol.
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