CW// Child abuse, grooming
If the Jonah Hill discourse wasn’t quite enough for you, there’s another cancellation afoot this week, and this one’s been a long time coming.
Colleen Ballinger, veteran YouTuber and creator of the character Miranda Sings, has had all her chickens come home to roost recently, after a series of inappropriate texts between Ballinger and her (at the time) underage fans were leaked. The 36-year-old YouTuber, now currently on tour as Miranda Sings, may be one of the longest-surviving members of the first generation of prominent YouTubers, but cancellation has clearly been a long time coming.
The inappropriate texts weren’t the only problematic artifacts that recently came to light: in addition to Ballinger asking underage fans if they were virgins and crowdsourcing tips about how to seduce her husband, Ballinger’s past Miranda sings videos are being called out for some pretty bald-faced racism and ableism.
For instance, Ballinger thought it was a good idea for Miranda Sings to cover the 2012 Psy hit “Gangnam Style.” And yes, it’s every ounce as racist as you’d expect. There’s also apparently a Blackface video. And regrettably, much, much more.
Even without all that, creators are calling out the fact that the Miranda Sings character—a disabled woman experiencing frequent sexual abuse from her uncle—wasn’t exactly sensitive to begin with. And the fact that it was aimed toward kids and young viewers adds another disturbing factor.
It just gets worse from here. After being called out online, Ballinger took to YouTube—much, as she tells us, against the advice of her PR team—to create a non-apology video in which she sings “all aboard the toxic gossip train” and denies everything categorically. Even though we have screenshots now. It was quite the brazen, if predictable, move.
Basically it’s not looking good, and Ballinger’s lack of accountability is only making it worse.
Now I know what you’re thinking: wait, wasn’t there a previous Miranda Sings scandal? Correct. And didn’t she put out a real apology that time? Well, sort of. In 2020, a YouTuber released a video detailing allegations of inappropriate behavior by Ballinger toward the then-10-year-old. Ballinger apologized in a video titled “addressing everything,” explaining she felt she’d changed and moved past these behaviors.
Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s someone being homophobic. Allegedly the set of ‘Fuller House’ is included.
There was also a queerbaiting incident: teasing a classic “coming out” YouTube format video, Miranda Sings ended up posting that she was coming out…as a Meghan Trainor fan.
She then apologized again, this time specifically to the queer community.
So what happens now? Another apology? Another ukulele video? Who knows. One thing is clear: a character that was never funny to begin with is finally (hopefully) heading into forced retirement.