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We Watched Colleen Ballinger's Ukulele Non-Apology Video So You Don't Have To

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | June 29, 2023 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | June 29, 2023 |


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Social media has been waiting a while for YouTube star Colleen Ballinger to respond to myriad allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards her underage fans. Ballinger, who performs as the character Miranda Sings, recently went viral when young fans alleged she had mistreated them. The accusations included claims that Ballinger, now 36, had held group chats with these teenagers wherein she asked them questions about their virginity and bodies. Fans also came forward to discuss how upset and uncomfortable they felt attending her live shows, where she ‘encouraged her fans to wear revealing clothing so we would get called on stage’ then had them re-enact scenes including childbirth, sexual poses, and jokes about abuse.

Ballinger has since issued a response. It’s a song. With a ukulele accompaniment. It’s fucking embarrassing (and no, I’m not posting it here because she doesn’t deserve the views.)

I would never ask you, our dear readers, to sit through this cringe. That’s my job. This is the life I signed up for. So, we watched the whole thing, our reactions are not dissimilar to those of Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Guys, it’s like 10 minutes long. Unless you’re Meatloaf or Metallica, no song needs to be that length, especially not on a ukulele.

One kind individual transcribed the song, so you can get a sense of how bananas, willfully ignorant, and downright cruel the whole thing is.

Ooft, where to start…

Ballinger dismisses the ‘toxic gossip train’ of teenagers and young adults offering screenshots and videos of her mistreatment, declaring it to be part of a ‘one way ticket to manipulation station.’ She says she did try to be ‘besties’ with fans, but not in a ‘creepy way’. More like a ‘loser kind of way.’ I’m not sure it’s exactly helping her case to justify her asking teens to show them videos of them playing with tampons as ‘weird aunt’ stuff. It’s still deeply inappropriate, even if you didn’t mean to be a pervert about it (and let’s be honest, nobody believes her behaviour wasn’t deeply intentional. When adults choose to encourage teenagers to be their friends and do things for them, it’s not an innocent act.)

Ballinger says that ‘everyone makes mistakes’ but that what people are demanding of her now is ‘mob mentality’ from people who want to ‘stab me repeatedly in my bony little back.’ Christ, did Boris Johnson write this? She also justifies her Miranda Sings character as never being designed for kids, even though her audience is primarily very young and she’s cultivated that for many years. You can whine all you want about how you’re too PG-13 for kids and it’s up to parents to check what their children view, but you’re the one inviting 13-year-olds into your group chats to ask them questions about their sex lives.

‘I’m not a groomer, I’m just a loser’, warbles Ballinger, before aiming for high notes as she accused people of ‘chugging down the tracks of misinformation […] you tied me to the tracks and harassed me for my past.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m not sure, ‘I’m just a sad loser and you’re all being mean to me’ is much of an apology, or even a basic understanding of what’s going on.

Oh, and she adds that ‘my team has strongly advised me to not say what I want to say.’ But they didn’t say she couldn’t sing it. What a scamp. How very 2007.

As you can imagine, it’s not going down well on Twitter.

Suffice to say, I think Ballinger is awful.

It’s worth noting that an ‘apology’ like this took some time to write. Even though it’s a bad ‘song’, it probably took way longer to put together than, you know, a proper apology would have. It also only occurred after Ballinger started losing sponsorships, which may suggest where her true priorities lie.

YouTube is long due a reckoning on how it breeds a dangerous co-dependency between its content creators and its primarily young viewership. Someone like Ballinger only accrued the power she did because she was able to build up a major fanbase of minors who hung onto her every word. As I said before, she is the tip of a very large iceberg, but she’s also clearly in the wrong here. Again, under what circumstances do you think it’s okay, as an adult, to ask children about their virginity?

Ballinger is trying to spin this as a baseless attack against her, making her the victim and the teenagers who felt so wronged by her as a band of organized bullies. Anyone who’s ever seen some tabloid hack whine about cancel culture knows these tactics all too well. They’re usually smart enough not to do it via a ukulele solo. The entire video is about her feelings, how sad she feels by what people are saying, and not her inappropriate behaviour. When she even broaches that subject, she dismisses it as her being some ickle loser who was too dumb-dumb to know what she was doing. Frankly, this is straight out of the Problematic YouTuber Response Video handbook. Ew.

It’s pathetic, but more than that, it feels actively hateful. It seems revealing for her to go from trying to make 13-year-olds her BFFs and unpaid workers to the biggest bullies on Earth whom everyone else should attack. Honestly, I don’t think anything will really happen to Ballinger after this. She’ll wait it out like Shane Dawson did, and Jeffree Star, and Trisha Paytas, and Jake and Logan Paul, and every other YouTuber who faced awful controversies and went back to business-as-usual. The money is in their favour. So is the algorithm. And that makes me want to vomit.