What’s going on Colleen Ballinger and her ‘Miranda Sings’ persona?

What’s going on Colleen Ballinger and her ‘Miranda Sings’ persona?
colleen ballinger responded...

Colleen Ballinger, the American comedian better known as her red lipstick-wearing internet persona ‘Miranda Sings’, has been accused of “grooming”.

The 36-year-old, who has a combined following of more than 22 million subscribers across three YouTube channels, created the character of Miranda Sings in 2008 and has since performed live shows as the satirically fame-hungry individual.

Ballinger is currently touring the character across the US, concluding her list of live shows in North Carolina in September.

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In addition to appearances as Miranda, the creator also co-hosts a podcast with her actor husband Erik Stocklin titled Relax!

We’ve shared more information about the specifics of the allegations below after Ballinger released a video addressing them.

Her “Addressing Everything” video

This is not the first time Ballinger has been embroiled in controversy, as in 2020 she uploaded a video to her Colleen Vlogs channel in which she addressed a number of accusations levelled at her.

Referring to resurfaced footage from 2006 of Ballinger and her sister performing as Latina characters “completely based on racial stereotypes”, she said it is “not funny and it is completely hurtful”.

“I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I ever thought this was OK. I was a sheltered teenager who was stupid and ignorant and clearly extremely culturally insensitive,” she added.

She then turned her attention to a 2008 video in which she talked “really negatively” about a woman’s weight after sitting next to her on a flight – saying her remarks are “absolutely disgusting” to her when watching the comments back.

The third issue Ballinger addressed concerned a video from 2013 concerning an incident when she was three where her dog had to be put down after biting her, revealing she was “really upset” following the death of the pet and that she feels “guilty” about the situation.

She added: “In this clip I talk about the story in a very dramatic, silly way, because sometimes, unfortunately, I use humour to talk about things that are extremely painful for me, and this is an example of that.”

The fourth controversy brought up by Ballinger referred to a giveaway on a livestream in 2016, during which a 17-year-old boy 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 Ballinger.

Sexual comments and alleged “grooming”

However, in recent days, attention has been drawn to past videos in which Ballinger makes sexual comments about vaginas and menstruation, with one clip showing her sharing a page from her Miranda Sings book Selp Half and explaining a mistake in its content.

Talking about a page teaching readers “how to draw a hot dog” which is “supposed to look like a vagina”, Ballinger claims one step is supposed to show ketchup on the food because she “wanted [it] to look like a nasty vagina with blood on it, because I’m a pervert.”

In one video from February 2017, titled “Keeping My Mouth Shut and Singing Miranda’s Songs!”, Ballinger responds to a question from a fan about a possible house tour to say she can’t show viewers around because “there are leaks all over my house right now”.

“Every time it rains, it leaks – just like a teenage girl’s vagina,” she added.

Screenshots have also surfaced appearing to show a group chat between Ballinger and fans, in which the content creator is seen asking them to “tell me all the thoughts you had when you first got your periods” and if they are “a virgin”.

One YouTuber, named Adam McIntyre, released a video last week in which he alleged Ballinger “used” him.

“This woman groomed me,” he said at the end of the upload lasting more than an hour and 45 minutes.

Live show controversies

In addition to clips from her YouTube channels, footage from her live shows as Miranda Sings have also attracted controversy and criticism, with one video appearing to show her encouraging an underage boy to put his hand in her trousers to collect sweets.

Another video compilation shows Ballinger branding young girls “porn” in scenes that have been described online as “s***-shaming”.

A third clip depicts the 36-year-old getting between the legs of an underage girl during a sketch purporting to be about simulating childbirth.

There is also the clip of Ballinger spreading a teenage girl's legs open and playing a fart noise.

The reaction

According to TMZ, sponsors of Ballinger’s podcast have cut ties with the influencer over accusations of 'appalling behaviour'.

Skincare brand OneSkin said in a statement: “We were made aware of this previously and have decided to cease the relationship completely. This behaviour is appalling and we do not condone or support it in any form.”

Meanwhile, medicine company Zocdoc confirmed they would no longer run ads on the creator’s podcast episodes.

Ukelele video

On June 28th, Ballinger released a video addressing the controversy surrounding her but bizarrely chose to do it in the form of a ukulele song.

In the 10 minute song, she said: "Many years ago, 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, where I was just trying to be besties with everybody.”

Indy100 has approached Ballinger for comment.

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