Colleen Ballinger, the popular 36-year-old YouTuber and creator of the online character Miranda Sings has responded to allegations of grooming minors. The allegations first surfaced in 2020, when a former fan of Ballinger, Adam McIntyre, posted a video on YouTube accusing her of grooming him when he was a teenager. McIntyre claimed that Ballinger had sent him sexually suggestive messages, developed an inappropriate emotional relationship with him, and used him for “her own personal gain.” He also claimed she “bullied and manipulated” some of her young fans into doing free work.
Ballinger has denied these allegations and has not been charged with any crime. However, the allegations have severely damaged her reputation leading to a significant loss of fans.
On June 28th 2023, Ballinger addressed the allegations in a 10-minute musical video she posted to her YouTube channel titled “hi.” In the video, Ballinger denied the claim stating they are “lies” and “toxic gossip”. She goes on: “My team has strongly advised me not to say what I want to say, but I recently realised that they never said I couldn’t sing what I want to say.”
She continued: “I used to message my fans – but not in a creepy way, like a lot of you are trying to suggest. It was more of a loser kind of way. I was just trying to be besties with everybody.”
The apology video was met with a mixed reaction from fans and critics. A few fans praised Ballinger for her honesty and vulnerability, while many criticised the video as being insincere and tone-deaf. Many have also expressed disappointment that Ballinger chose to address the allegations in a song rather than in a more traditional format, such as a spoken-word video or a written statement.
The backlash against Ballinger’s apology video is likely due to a number of factors. First, the allegations of grooming are serious and disturbing, and many people feel that Ballinger’s apology does not adequately address them. Second, the video has been seen by some as an attempt to deflect blame and avoid taking responsibility for her actions. Third, the format of the video, a ukulele song, has been seen by some as inappropriate and disrespectful to the victims of grooming.
Additionally, it is harder to repost or reuse the clip in edits because music is subject to much harsher fair use laws than spoken word video clips. Some have speculated the use of music in the apology is to limit the video’s ability to be repurposed.
In response, Adam McIntyre tweeted: “As much as Colleen discredited & made fun of me, I’m glad her video did ONE thing, show you all EXACTLY the type of evil woman she is, that a lot of us have experienced over the past few years behind the scenes, the mask has slipped…everyone meet the REAL Colleen Ballinger.”
The Impact of the Allegations and Backlash
The allegations against Ballinger have had a significant impact on her career. She has lost many of her fans and will most likely be dropped by several of her sponsors.
The backlash against Ballinger has also had a broader impact on the conversation about grooming. It has raised awareness of the issue, and it has led to calls for more to be done to protect minors from online predators.
The Future of Ballinger’s Career
It remains to be seen how the allegations against Ballinger will impact her career in the long term. However, it is clear that the damage has been done. She will likely have to rebuild her reputation from the ground up or step away from the spotlight.
The Importance of Speaking Out
The case of Colleen Ballinger is a reminder of the importance of speaking out against sexual abuse and harassment. When victims come forward, it helps to create a safer environment for everyone. It also sends a message to perpetrators that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of grooming or harassment, please reach out for help. There are many resources available, including Stop it Now (0808 1000 900), Rape Crisis England & Wales (0808 802 9999) and Childline (0800 1111).