American singer-songwriter John Legend has revamped the 75-year-old classic Baby It’s Cold Outside for the #MeToo era, after it was banned last year as critics said it encouraged date rape.
The new rendition of the catchy song about a man coaxing a woman to stay with him includes the lyrics “It’s your body, and your choice”, said Legend, who recorded the duet with American Idol singer Kelly Clarkson for his latest Christmas album.
An Ohio radio station took the original – sung by big names such as Dean Martin and Dolly Parton – out of its list of holiday music in 2018 due to its controversial lyrics, amid rising awareness around sexual coercion and abuse.
Lines in the 1944 version, such as the woman asking “Say, what’s in this drink?” and the man saying “Baby don’t hold out”, have led to it being dubbed a date rape anthem.
In the new recording, Clarkson sings, “What will my friends think…”, with Legend responding, “I think they should rejoice” / “…if I have one more drink?” / “It’s your body and your choice”, Legend told Vanity Fair magazine.
The latest rendition by Legend and Clarkson, co-hosts on the popular TV show The Voice, features on the deluxe edition of Legend’s previously released album, A Legendary Christmas, which is due out for the holiday season.
Legend is a well-known social justice campaigner, along with his model wife Chrissy Teigen, who have both come under fire from US President Donald Trump for speaking out in favour of criminal justice reform.
This month marks two years since the #MeToo movement exploded on social media after accusations of sexual abuse were made public against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. He denies any non-consensual sex.