Colleen Ballinger, the popular YouTuber who brought the dramatic, over-the-top, and red-lipped character of Miranda Sings to the world, has been facing allegations of grooming and engaging in inappropriate relationships with young fans online. On Wednesday 28 June 2023, she took to her vlog channel to dismiss the claims that initially surfaced three years prior, in the form of… a ukulele song. Maybe not the best move for something as sensitive as child grooming.
The recent controversy reignited when screenshots of alleged text exchanges between Ballinger and fans surfaced again on Twitter, once more stirring the accusations of grooming.
With a cringeworthy tune strummed on her trusty ukulele, Ballinger likened the allegations to a melodramatic “toxic gossip train” heading straight for the “manipulation station,” portraying herself as a helpless victim. In her signature sing-song style, she shared: “I believed you wanted accountability, but your mob mentality seems focused on destroying lives and monetising fabricated tales.”
This isn’t the first time the singer has had to apologise for her wrongdoing. In fact, in a candid video titled Addressing Everything posted just over three years ago, Ballinger can be heard sincerely apologising for a video posted 14 years ago, in which she and her sister portrayed Latinx characters, perpetuating racial stereotypes.
Furthermore, within the previous apology, the YouTuber acknowledged the derogatory comments she previously made about an overweight woman she encountered during a flight years before. The creator openly admits that those comments were genuinely awful, but firmly asserted: “That is not the person I am today.”
This time around, choosing to express herself through song as previously mentioned, Ballinger sang: “I know my song might disappoint you, as you expected me to confess my total wrongdoing. But I refuse to succumb to admitting lies and rumours you concocted for attention.”
Shortly after Ballinger released the video, Adam McIntyre, a fellow YouTuber who is 20 and was one of the first people to raise numerous allegations against the creator, posted his own response, expressing frustration with Ballinger. McIntyre had previously uploaded a video in 2020, alleging that when he was just 13 years old, Ballinger, who is currently 36, formed an “inappropriate personal friendship” with him. He claimed that the Miranda Sings character had sent him lingerie as a joke and that they had exchanged text messages over the course of several years.
Ballinger admitted that she used to message her fans when her career took off in the late 2000s. However, she emphasised that there were never any untoward intentions, contrary to what some people have suggested. She explained that she was simply trying to be friendly with everyone, even though she now sees it as “loser-ish” behaviour (her words not ours).
The YouTuber acknowledged that she overshared in some direct messages, but claimed that she later changed her behaviour and took accountability for her actions. She criticised the mob mentality online and those groups of people who purposefully want to ruin the lives of those they despise.
The YouTuber also sang about never grooming anyone except her two Persian cats and emphasised that she was not a predator. You can’t make this stuff up. “The only grooming I’ve ever done is for my two Persian cats. I’m just a flawed human who lacked understanding on how to navigate fan interactions.”
Ballinger ended the video by expressing gratitude towards those who have stuck by her, and that she never sought to act with “bad intentions.” McIntyre was quick to clap back onto the video on Twitter, claiming that Ballinger’s song has only further revealed her true nature. It’s unknown how these next few weeks may unfold, and what other information we may learn about the creator.