Miranda Sings Creator Denies Grooming Allegations With a 10-Minute Ukulele Song
This is, probably, the first time in celebrity scandal history that a public figure has needed a ukulele to deny grooming allegations.
Colleen Ballinger, best known by her YouTube alter ego “Miranda Sings,” posted a vlog today with the simple title “hi.” Ballinger began the video with a ukulele in hand and a saddened expression on her unusually unanimated face, strumming a simple chord progression and speaking in rhythm, “Hey, it’s been a while since you saw my face. I haven’t been doing so great so I took a little break. A lot of people are saying some things about me that aren’t quite true — doesn’t matter if it’s true, though, as long as it’s entertaining too.”
Ballinger has been battling accusations that she formed inappropriate relationships with members of her teen-skewing fandom since 2020, when another YouTuber, Adam McIntyre, publicly claimed that Ballinger exhibited a pattern of grooming-type behavior toward him when the two maintained an online friendship while McIntyre was between the ages of 13 and 16. “Even though my team has strongly advised me not to say what I want to say,” Ballinger commented during a break between verses, “I recently realized that they never said that I couldn’t sing what I wanted to say.”
The “Miranda Sings” YouTube channel boasts over 10 million subscribers, some of whom have been following the comedic musician since she started posting on the platform back in 2008. Ballinger’s “Miranda” character is an eccentric, delusional and satirical figure who sings poorly and dances worse, all while sporting bright red lipstick and demanding that “Haters back off,” a catchphrase that became the title of Ballinger’s two-season Netflix series, which ran from 2016 to 2017.
Throughout her career, Ballinger has maintained massive popularity among teens and tweens, and a feature of her online persona has long been her eagerness to engage with fans personally through her various social media accounts. Today, many of those former fans who formed relationships with Ballinger as children are adults who view their interactions with the internet star as hugely inappropriate, and the fandom is currently undergoing a reckoning on a massive scale as millions of Ballinger’s followers grapple with the possibility that their childhood hero may have been reckless — or even deliberately inappropriate — in her interactions with minors.
Ballinger put out a video addressing McIntyre’s allegations when he first brought them to light in 2020, but given the recent resurgence in rumors and stories surrounding her interactions with underaged fans, the YouTuber belted her response to the “toxic gossip train” and its “one-way ticket to manipulation station” in a song with a runtime that would make even the most verbose of prog-rock bands blush.
Highlights of the apology anthem include lines like “The only thing I’ve ever groomed is my two Persian cats,” and “I’m sure you’re disappointed in my shitty little song, I know you wanted me to say that I was 100 percent in the wrong, well I’m sorry I’m not gonna take that route of admitting to lies and rumors that you made up for clout.”
However, Ballinger’s fans have not received the operatic apologia with the warmth that they typically have for her comedic covers of Top 20 pop songs. Said one commenter, “I want an apology for this apology.”