Internet personality Colleen Ballinger, widely known for her character Miranda Sings, has responded to allegations of inappropriate behavior with minor fans by using her singing talents.
Recently, Ballinger has faced accusations from fellow YouTubers and former superfans who claimed she “groomed” them for labor and engaged in sexual jokes with minors in a group chat. These allegations caused a significant stir, leading Ballinger to go silent on her social media platforms for nearly a month. Meanwhile, she was in the midst of a Miranda Sings tour.
Breaking her silence, Ballinger posted a 10-minute video titled “hi” on her Colleen Vlogs YouTube channel. In the video, she addresses the allegations through a song while playing the ukulele. Ballinger admits her team advised her against speaking her mind, but cleverly notes they never said she couldn’t sing.
In the song, Ballinger counters the belief that she manipulates and abuses children, clarifying that the only beings she has groomed are her two Persian cats. She emphasizes that she is not a groomer or predator, referencing a fart joke she made five years ago to dismiss the accusations.
One particular line in the song refers to a resurfaced clip from Ballinger’s live show where a fan lies on her back, and a fart noise plays. The clip going viral resulted in the podcast “Relax!” losing several sponsorship deals. Zocdoc, a company, confirmed they pulled their ads due to the viral clip.
Expressing remorse, Ballinger sings, “I never had any bad intentions, but I do feel like s—.” Her defeated look and the repetition of the “toxic gossip train” chorus throughout the song reinforce her feelings of regret.
Initially, many of the allegations against Ballinger were made by Adam McIntyre, a former superfan who has since become a successful YouTuber himself. McIntyre claimed that Ballinger used him for unpaid social media work, but their relationship soured after he sent a controversial tweet from her account about LGBTQ+ people. Ballinger also faced criticism for sending underwear to McIntyre as a joke.
Ballinger released a 13-minute apology video a month later, explaining that she often hired fans for social media and tour work, but she would usually test their capabilities before offering employment. She took responsibility for the controversial tweet and emphasized her care for all fans, including McIntyre.
Following her apology, Ballinger received support from her fans, who dismissed McIntyre’s allegations and continued to back her work.
However, McIntyre recently reaffirmed his belief that Ballinger had wronged him, accusing her of “using” and “grooming” him. This reignited the issue, and YouTube personality Kodee Tyler, also known as KodeeRants, shared a video recounting her experiences with Ballinger and the “toxic” fan base surrounding her. Tyler defended McIntyre’s previous video and later deleted her video and social media accounts.
Tyler also shared alleged screenshots from a group chat where Ballinger asked minors about their virginity and favorite sex positions. McIntyre confirmed that he was a recipient of those texts in the group chat when he was 15.
Ballinger acknowledged the existence of group chats and direct messages with fans in her song, admitting that she sometimes lacked boundaries and overshared personal details. However, she emphasized that she had changed her behavior years ago and taken responsibility for her actions.
McIntyre responded to Ballinger’s song on his YouTube channel, expressing disappointment that he hadn’t received a private apology. He criticized her for making light of the situation through a song without facing any consequences for her actions.
Since Ballinger started posting videos as Miranda Sings in 2009, she has faced significant online hate, which she transformed into her exaggerated diva persona. She embraced the criticism and adjusted her character to amplify the aspects that people disliked. This approach brought her immense popularity, leading to a Netflix series, appearances on notable shows, and magazine features.
During a 2018 interview, Ballinger attributed her success to her fans, acknowledging their support and involvement in her videos and journey. She showcased her home, which showcased her Miranda character through fan art, costumes, and other memorabilia.
Despite the controversies surrounding her, Ballinger remains an influential figure on YouTube, continuing to engage with her dedicated fan base.