Ballinger is among the world’s most famous YouTube personalities, having amassed more than eight million followers across her 15-year career with hundreds of comedy sketch videos centred around her nasal-voiced character Miranda Sings.
In June, Ballinger, 36, denied multiple allegations of child grooming levelled against her by former fans, calling them “lies” and “toxic gossip” while playing the ukulele and performing a song called “Toxic Gossip Train”.
At the time, Ballinger was responding to accusations of inappropriate behaviour made by young members of her fan club, as laid out in a HuffPost UK report. The fans alleged that Ballinger forged inappropriate relationships with them when they were minors – both in private chats and in a group forum dubbed “Colleeny’s Weenies”.
As online outrage over the claims reached a fever pitch with the HuffPost UK report in late June, Ballinger offered a musical response.
Singing along to a ukulele, Ballinger decried the claims as false while admitting to having made mistakes and “oversharing” with young fans. She said she had changed her behaviour.
“Thought you wanted me to take accountability but that’s not the point of your mob mentality, is it?” she sang. “No. Your goal is to ruin the life of the person you despise while you dramatize your lies and monetize their demise.”
The video received significant backlash, with one of her accusers Adam McIntyre writing: “I’m so happy for you, Colleen, that you get to make a silly little song out of all of this and no repercussions.”
Nearly five months after the controversy erupted, Ballinger shared a follow-up apology on her Colleen Vlogs YouTube channel on Saturday (18 November), calling the ukele video “really embarrassing”.
“I was being accused of some pretty awful things, and I just was mad. I should have handled that situation with maturity and empathy, but instead, I just let my ego take over, and I’m really disappointed in myself,” she added.
Ballinger acknowleged that she had been “immature and inappropriate with some of my comedy” and failed to put “enough thought into some of my fan interactions” over the course of her 15-year career.
“Because of that behaviour, people got hurt, and I am so sorry,” she continued, while also apologising to any fans who were “disappointed of feel abandoned by me because of my silence” over the last few months.
“I am not a perfect person, and there are plenty of things in my past that I wish I could go back and redo and fix and change,” Ballinger added. “I don’t have control over any of that, and I don’t have control over the things people say about me.
“I only have control over my actions moving forward, and so I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that I create a positive, kind, inclusive, safe space online with my content,” she said.
She also expressed her desire to start sharing more content with her fans, while reiterating that “I do not expect anyone to welcome me back with open arms”.
“I just wanted to come on here and say that I’m sorry, and I wanted to try to show people that it’s possible for someone to grow and learn and be better after making mistakes many, many years ago, so that’s what I’m going to do,” Ballinger added.
Public allegations of grooming against Ballinger date back to 2020, when ex-fan McIntyre posted a video titled “colleen ballinger, stop lying”.
Now 20, McIntyre said his friendship with Ballinger began when he was 13, accusing the YouTuber of having inappropriate conversations with her underage fans on a private X/Twitter group chat called “Colleeny’s Weenies”.
McIntyre also revealed he had received Ballinger’s underwear in the mail after a livestream, with the YouTuber later admitting that she sent him a bra and underpants in a 2020 apology video.
Earlier this year, allegations against Ballinger resurfaced when another former fan, KodeeRants, corroborated McIntyre’s claims in a since-deleted video. In addition to these videos, several of Ballinger’s ex-fans spoke to HuffPost UK about their own experiences with her, prompting renewed scrutiny over some of these interactions.