Last year, Frank Loesser’s 1944 holiday classic tune, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” became the subject of controversy among the “Me Too” movement. To combat the original tune’s alleged undertones pointing to a lack of consent, John Legend recorded a modernized version with the help of Kelly Clarkson, which was released last month. The two performed the song on Tuesday evening’s episode of The Voice. Fans of the singing competition were divided over the updated hit, according to Decider.
During Tuesday evening’s Top 10 results episode, Legend took to a piano onstage, wearing a festive green-and-red plaid suit, while Clarkson took a seat on a red couch, wearing a sequined blue dress. The melody of Loesser’s tune remained the same, as well as the woman’s original lyrics, but a few of the man’s lyrics were altered to change the overall story.
Loesser’s original tune tells the story of a man who persuades (or, as some listeners hear it, manipulates) a woman to stay with him overnight in his home, despite her objections. In Legend’s version, the man encourages the woman to stay or go as she pleases, including lyrics such as “It’s your body and your choice” and “You really ought to go, go, go.”
In addition, the man calls his lady friend an Uber.
Legend and Clarkson received mixed reviews on their first live performance of the consent-driven tune from fans on social media.
“Really sorry you and John have bent to political correctness,” one Twitter user said, per Yahoo!
“Had to change and ruin a classic bc of the #MeToo movement. Ugh!” another person said.
— Jared Surber (@JSurb33) December 4, 2019
Some users argued that the classic should not have been touched, but others praised Legend and Clarkson for making such a brave move for those who wished a modern version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” existed.
“Props for changing the lyrics so it doesn’t sound like its promoting toxic masculinity &…drugs,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Another person pointed out that those who do not like the modernized version can still download the original.
“B****ing about how you hate the song just makes you angry and hateful!!!!” they added.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been the subject of debate for the past several years, but the controversy seemed to be kicked up a notch in 2018 when some radio stations went so far as to ban the tune from their holiday playlists, USA Today reported at the time. On the contrary, others vowed to play the hit twice as much.