John Legend thinks the Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” isn’t woke enough.
Never mind that “Baby” is an entrenched holiday staple, a song showcased in the beloved Yuletide film “Elf.” Plus, the ditty sells briskly decades after Dean Martin’s iconic 1959 version. Consider how the annual carping about the song’s “problematic” lyrics boosted its sales last year alone.
Dean Martin’s take, recorded in 1959, is the chart’s Greatest Gainer, soaring from No. 31 to No. 10 on the Dec. 22-dated list, up 70 percent to 11,000 downloads sold in the week ending Dec. 13, according to Nielsen Music. A week earlier, it returned to the chart with a 257 percent blast to 7,000 sold.
That hardly mattered to the creamy voiced Legend. He recently teamed with “American Idol” alum Kelly Clarkson to make the song more “woke.” The new version even includes the catchy lyric, “It’s your body and your choice.”
Sets your toes a-tappin’ right?
Now, he’s defending that decision and others he’s made in the public arena. In fact, he’s grumpy that some insist his declarations are nothing more than celebrity virtue signaling.
Sadly, Legend does a poor job of defending himself. In fact, his defense serves up even more empty calorie virtue signaling.
Legend may have been triggered by outspoken Brit Piers Morgan, who dubbed the singer “Hollywood’s self-appointed Virtue-Signaller-in-Chief.” The singer sounds hopelessly disingenuous when taking on his Christmas song’s critics.
“It wasn’t supposed to be preachy at all. I never disparaged the old version.”
Buy that, and we’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn marked down half price.
Legend then builds a virtual army of straw men that would be easily torn down had this interview not been conducted by a fawning scribe from the far-left UK Guardian.
“It’s interesting,” he says, “this whole backlash to the #MeToo movement. People thinking we’ve gone too far speaking up for a woman’s right to not get raped or sexually harassed, when some would argue we’ve not gone far enough, when we have an admitted sexual assailant in the highest office in the land. People think that because some people have lost their jobs, or have been expelled from Hollywood, like [disgraced producer Harvey] Weinstein, that we’ve gone too far. I don’t agree.”
Where to start?
People aren’t upset that #MeToo exposed some sexual predators. There’s not a sane soul alive who doesn’t rejoice in Weinstein’s banishment.
They’re furious the movement quickly became a partisan cudgel where the rules drift from case to case depending on the person’s party affiliation. Some innocent men have likely been caught up in the movement’s net, another legitimate issue.
Legend is aghast at the sexual assault allegations leveled against President Donald Trump in the past. It’s understandable, even if most of the charges vanished after Trump’s election. Yet Legend couldn’t wait to steer Hillary Clinton and her husband, an alleged rapist, back into the White House.
Remember how Hillary Clinton defended her husband against the women who claimed he sexually mistreated them. She also pushed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow away when his reporting focused on Weinstein’s alleged assaults.
Sounds like Virtue Signaling 101, no?
Legend is just warming up. He turns his attention again to Morgan’s slam. It clearly buried deep beneath his skin.
“I don’t know what virtue signalling is supposed to be,” he says. “I get that people don’t like people who are overly preachy or overly moralising. But, in my humble opinion, if you care about people who are often undervalued and overlooked in society, what’s so negative about that? There seem to be some who think that standing up for immigrants whose kids are getting locked up in cages is… some might call that virtue signalling and some might think speaking up against it is absolutely right.”
So why didn’t Legend say a syllable about those “kids in cages” when President Barack Obama held the skeleton key? Remember just weeks ago we learned about a UN report citing more than 100,000 kids, presumably children of color, were locked up during 2015 when Obama called the White House home.
Did Legend say a peep about that travesty then? What about more recently? His wife, Chrissy Teigen, is the virtual Queen of Twitter. Surely she saw that information online (when it was improperly framed as an attack on President Trump) and told her beau.
Has he dressed down the former president yet for his actions?
Of course not. If he were truly aghast at children being incarcerated because their parents, or those pretending to be their parents, broke the law he’d be as angry with Obama as he is with Trump.
He’s not, and that speaks volumes. Or, more accurately, it signals volumes.
Here’s the Cambridge Dictionary definition of “virtue signaling.”
…an attempt to show other people that you are a good person, for example by expressing opinions that will be acceptable to them, especially on social media:
Did Legend make the cut? You decide.