Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

William Shatner apparently determined to argue about "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for rest of 2018

Photo: Santiago Felipe (Getty Images)

William Shatner, it’s become obvious, is a real stinker. He’s the sort of guy who unironically calls people “snowflakes” and “SJWs” and is eager to point out the “misandry” that plagues our world today. Any fond memories you may have of his music and acting are being chipped away at, bit by bit, with each new tweet issued from his account.

It should come as little surprise, then, that this holiday season, Shatner has devoted himself to the defense of the another cultural institution in danger from those pesky progressives: the creepy Christmas classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

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Incensed by the CBC’s quickly backtracked decision to stop airing the song this year, Shatner called on his followers to launch a good ol’ fashioned call-in campaign to save the 1944 track from its fate.

He followed up this request with a reminder that not playing the song is tantamount to it being “stricken from history,” just like Orwell described in 1984, a book famous for its vision of a dystopian future where some shitty holiday tunes are not played on the radio anymore.

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While his tweet came at about the exact same time the CBC announced that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was actually being reintroduced to its radio line-up, this was not enough for Shatner. Having happily stirred up the hornet’s nest, he continued to urge all of us to cast aside the “2018 myopic glasses” that have blinded us for far too long and continue to rage against all who would lessen our chances of hearing the song at the mall sometimes.

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The debate over what place a piece written so long ago, its lyrics perhaps meant to reflect cultural nuances that now put modern listeners in mind not of outdated social mores, but, instead, of sexual assault, is complicated and worthwhile. This is not the conversation Shatner is interested in, though. He’s quick to point out that anyone who has a problem with the music simply needs to watch how it was portrayed in 1949's Neptune’s Daughter before having an opinion about the audio-only radio play at hand.

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How the choreography, which sees two couples so determined to force an unwilling partner into sex that they block their attempts to leave, are meant to improve the song isn’t super clear. What is impossible to miss, though, is that Shatner has made clear that we’ve approached all of this entirely wrong: the battle for the fate of free speech and democratic tradition is now contingent entirely, we’re sorry to say, on how often radio stations play a not-especially-great Christmas song.

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[via The Wrap]

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.