What happened to Miranda Sings? Colleen Ballinger grooming controversy explained
Colleen Ballinger has become a bit of an online meme after she was hit with allegations of grooming and taking advantage of underage fans. This has since led to a viral ukulele apology song and a cease and desist letter. But what actually happened to her? Here’s everything you need to know.
Miranda Sings is the alter ego character of Colleen Ballinger, who has been making videos on YouTube since 2008. She has posted hundreds of videos as her comically talentless and quirky character and has a combined following of over 22 million subscribers across three YouTube channels.
Throughout her time on YouTube, Colleen broke into the world of traditional celebrity, with her own Netflix original series, an appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, a run on Waitress on Broadway, and two best-selling books.
Recently, Ballinger made headlines after former fan Adam McIntyre alleged that she groomed and bullied underage fans. And it turns out Adam McIntyre isn’t the only one speaking out against the YouTuber on such matters.
But what are people actually accusing her of? And do they have proof? Here’s everything we know about the situation.
- Colleen Ballinger accused of grooming teen fans
- Miranda Sings made teen fan uncomfortable at comedy show
- Sponsors drop Colleen Ballinger as a result of grooming accusations
- Colleen responds to grooming allegations with ukulele song
- Adam McIntyre responds to the video with his own version of the song
- Miranda Sings under fire as blackface video resurfaces
- Colleen hits reactions to apology song with copyright claims as tour get canceled
- Colleen Ballinger’s lawyers allegedly sent cease & desist letter to H3H3 fan account
- Colleen Ballinger’s family speaks out amid JoJo Siwa backlash
- Colleen Ballinger returns to YouTube with apology – but fans aren’t buying it
Colleen Ballinger accused of grooming teen fans
Former fan Adam McIntyre first posted a video where he accused Ballinger of grooming in 2020. However, this video was quickly filled with other fans of Ballinger coming to her defense.
Because of this, the hype regarding the video soon died down and was forgotten about – until McIntyre released another video talking about Ballinger on June 4, 2023.
In the hour and 20 minutes long video, which already has over 583,000 views, McIntyre talked about his relationship with Ballinger and how he felt like she was using him and other fans for her convenience.
In another video published a few days later, on June 7, McIntyre further discussed his relationship with Ballinger, including how he was part of a group chat with the YouTuber and other fans.
At the time of these conversations, Ballinger was already in her 30s, and a majority of the fans included in the chat were supposedly aged between 14-16. However, this did not stop Ballinger from commenting on their appearance, encouraging bullying, and asking inappropriate questions — such as when they lost their virginity and when what their first periods were like.
“This woman groomed me,” he said.
McIntyre also showed several screenshots of his time in the group chats, which included Ballinger asking some very weird and inappropriate questions. These have also been shared on McIntyre’s Twitter where he’s been revealing more about his relationship with Ballinger.
McIntyre has also claimed that the Youtuber would use love-bombing to make him feel special, praising and encouraging him to run her social media accounts without pay or accreditation. This would ultimately end their friendship.
Since McIntyre stood up and talked about his experience with Ballinger, other former fans of the internet personality have also opened up about their experiences of being groomed or used by her.
Miranda Sings made teen fan uncomfortable at comedy show
A TikTok posted on June 14 by ‘noitsbecky’, first name Becky, alleges that the YouTuber has humiliated and exploited minors for entertainment in her shows.
Becky opened up on how she went to one of Ballinger’s shows when she was 16 years old and was called up on stage to be part of the show. However, Becky soon got very uncomfortable as they began the ‘yoga challenge,’ which involved Ballinger, who was acting as Miranda at the time, controlling the teenager’s body for the audience’s amusement.
the whole bit here was that i “farted” while in this position which is 1) really childish and 2) fucking embarrassing when you’re already in a vulnerable position. i was only a teenager here and you can see that i had to stop and cover myself up before i even stood up. pic.twitter.com/cPQVKAUMQv— becky (@noitsbecks) June 10, 2023
In one section of the bit, Ballinger visibly spread the then-teenager’s legs so far apart that Becky’s spandex became visible to the audience. While doing this, she has a smirk on her lips while looking down at Becky on the floor.
Explaining her experience, Becky wrote on Twitter: “I’ve been debating posting this picture, but this was me on stage. She encouraged her fans to wear revealing clothing so we would get called on stage. and then she exploited us and our bodies for her own gain. so yeah, I’m okay with calling her a predator.
“I’m so sick of people being okay with calling Colleen out, but then stopping when it comes to using certain terminology. it’s okay to call her a groomer and a predator because that’s what she IS. Normal people don’t do what she does to children.
“The whole bit here was that I “farted” while in this position which is 1) really childish and 2) fucking embarrassing when you’re already in a vulnerable position. I was only a teenager here and you can see that I had to stop and cover myself up before I even stood up.”
Sponsors drop Colleen Ballinger as a result of grooming accusations
A least two companies that work with Colleen on her podcast, RELAX! with Colleen Ballinger & Erik Stocklin, have pulled their sponsorships as a result of the accusations against her.
Colleen has previously been open about her previous controversies. In a video called “addressing everything,” which was published in 2020, Colleen opened up about a number of accusations leveled at her, including footage from a 2016 giveaway livestream, during which Adam, who was 17 at the time, was sent unused lingerie the content creator did not want.
“In hindsight, I see how completely stupid of me [it was]. I should never have sent that.
“It was never a sneaky, creepy, gross thing I was doing in secret; it was a silly, stupid mistake.
“No, I should have never sent a fan underwear, how stupid am I? No, I definitely should have never given him access to my Twitter account, and no, I shouldn’t have talked to him as often as I did.
“But I am not a monster, I am not a groomer, and I shouldn’t kill myself,” said Colleen.
Colleen responds to grooming allegations with ukulele song
On June 28, Ballinger finally broke her silence about the accusations against her and uploaded a video response to her vlog channel.
In the video, the YouTuber claimed that her management team had “strongly advised” her not to “say what I want to say,” but “realized they never said that I couldn’t sing.”
Thus, she sang a ten-minute ditty about the ordeal, which she called “toxic gossip” and compared to a train heading into a “manipulation station” (all while strumming away on a ukulele).
Although Ballinger claimed that she has changed her behavior and took “accountability” for her past actions, fans weren’t happy with her video, with many accusing her of “mocking” her accusers and making light of a serious situation.
Adam McIntyre responds to the video with his own version of the song
Ballinger’s ukulele song quickly got mocked on social media, with several people calling it one of the worst influencer apology videos.
Adam McIntyre, who made the initial video against Ballinger, made a reaction video to her apology song, where he accused her of making fun of him.
A few hours later, he made another response, where he watched the video and sang along with his own ukulele. McIntyre told viewers that if Ballinger believes a musical response is appropriate then perhaps she will pay attention if he does the same.
Singing off-key and not really knowing how to play the instrument in his hands, he proceeded to respond to each of Ballinger’s lyrics with his own, singing along to her chorus and calling out inconsistencies he saw in her apology.
At multiple points within the video, McIntyre pointed out that despite Ballinger insisting she will only focus on facts in her apology, she never provided any evidence or proof.
Viewers showered McIntyre’s video with support, mostly loving his response to Ballinger’s bizarre musical apology. One wrote, “This is the best example of ‘when life gives you lemons make lemonade’. Adam, you are amazing and an icon.”
McIntyre has not been the only one shocked and appalled by Colleen’s response, with many YouTubers and influencers rising up to slam the Miranda Sings star for her tone-death approach, including Tana Mongeau, who posted her reaction on TikTok.
Miranda Sings under fire as blackface video resurfaces
On July 5, Ballinger once again came under fire after a user on Twitter reposted an old video of the YouTuber wearing what appears to be blackface while singing and dancing to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies.’
The video is still available to view on the Miranda Sings YouTube channel and was originally uploaded in 2018. As shown by the Twitter user, the video is directly linked to in a QR code in one of Ballinger’s books.
However, according to Ballinger’s legal representatives, she was wearing “green make-up”, not ‘blackface’ as the posts on social media had suggested.
This was soon followed by fellow influencer Trisha Paytas blasting the YouTuber amid the ongoing accusations against her.
Colleen hits reactions to apology song with copyright claims as tour get canceled
On July 11, it was revealed that Ballinger had released her apology song, Toxic Gossip Train, as an official song, which means that she can now send copyright claims to people reacting to the song online.
This technically means that Ballinger will be profiting off of the attention that her video has received, which is a silver lining to a very dark cloud considering how many people have ridiculed the video.
In response to this, several people claimed this proved that the apology had been fake.
One person wrote on Twitter: “So this only confirms the apology was fake.”
However, it’s now been confirmed to Pop Crave by Ballinger’s legal reps that she was not the one to upload her 10-minute ukelele song “Toxic Gossip Train” to iTunes and Apple Music. The song has now been removed from the platforms.
Around this time, it was also revealed that Ballinger’s Miranda Sings live shows had been canceled.
People who had tickets to see Ballinger in one of her 11 upcoming shows got an email on July 10, which told them that the organizer had canceled the shows.
Colleen Ballinger’s lawyers allegedly sent cease & desist letter to H3H3 fan account
Following the false accusations that Ballinger had uploaded “Toxic Gossip Train” to iTunes and Apple Music, a cease & desist letter addressed to Ethan Klein was sent to a H3H3 fan account rather than to Ethan himself.
After getting the letter sent to him the following day, after the H3H3 fan account tweeted about it, Ethan went onto his podcast to read it out loud, but not before calling out her legal team.
“I had not received this letter… we checked all of my emails,” Klein said. “Before then, her brilliant lawyer had sent this cease and desist to Ethan’s Basement… not the public email address I have for work that I check regularly, you know, not my main email that I check associated with my YouTube account. No. Ethan’s Basement.”
The letter requested Klein to clarify that Ballinger did not upload and copyright her musical response to the allegations, “Toxic Gossip Train”.
It’s not known if Ballinger’s legal team will take legal action against Ethan and the rest of the H3H3 team, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on all developments.
Colleen Ballinger’s family speaks out amid JoJo Siwa backlash
In the podcast, JoJo defended Ballinger, saying the controversy surrounding the YouTuber is “based off of lies.” JoJo has since come under fire for her remarks, with other major influencers like Trisha Paytas and even MoistCritikal calling her out over the situation.
Now, Ballinger’s family is publicly commenting on the backlash toward Siwa, opening up about the ordeal in a seemingly deleted YouTube comment from the ‘BallingerFamily’ account.
“It is sad to me to see how caught up people get in online gossip,” their comment read. “JoJo is a lovely person. She has a huge heart, a dedication to bringing joy to others, and an absolutely brilliant mind.”
“We have entered into a sad new era, where it is more profitable to complain about and destroy other humans than to lift them up. …instead of being concerned about all the people supporting JoJo, perhaps consider that they know her on a human level (rather than parasocial opinions).”
Colleen Ballinger returns to YouTube with apology – but fans aren’t buying it
On November 18, Colleen broke her silence, almost five months after the controversy began, with a 13-minute vlog, where the first three minutes were spent apologizing to her viewers.
During the vlog, Ballinger acknowledges the issues with her ukulele apology video. “Obviously, the last video that I posted on here… it’s really embarrassing, to say the least,” she admits, saying that she’d been acting in anger.
“Over the last 15 years of my career, there have been moments where I was immature and inappropriate with some of my comedy and there were times when I did not put enough thought into some of my fan interactions and because of that behavior, people got hurt and I am so sorry,” she says.
“I do not expect anyone to welcome me back with open arms. I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind with this video,” she says before outlining her plans to resume vlogging.
“A good way to support Colleen Ballinger’s victims is to not watch her new vlog out of morbid curiosity,” one user shares. “She returned to YouTube to make money off of ads during the holiday season. Don’t give her the views.”