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Miranda Sings Getty 1.jpg

Colleen Ballinger Continues to Dig a Deep Hole of Controversy and Arrogance

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | July 7, 2023 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | July 7, 2023 |

Miranda Sings Getty 1.jpg

YouTuber and ‘comedian’ Colleen Ballinger continues to face controversy following multiple accusations of inappropriate behaviour towards minors. After issuing one of the worst non-apologies in YouTube history (no mean feat given the competition), Ballinger has employed a legal team to try and quash any further allegations. It’s not going well.

Earlier this week, a video was posted on Twitter that seemed to show Ballinger with dark makeup on her face as she parodied Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies.’ It looked pretty blackface-esque, and given Ballinger’s past history of racist impersonations of people of colour, nobody was surprised by what they saw. But don’t worry, guys, it’s just green-face!

Law firm Berk Brettler, which represents Ballinger, reached out to Variety to explain the context: Ballinger had been singing a song from Wicked before this segment and had poorly painted her face green for the number before moving onto her bad parody of Beyoncé. See, not racist! Just bad effing comedy.

Seriously though, I spent many years trying to avoid Ballinger’s work and that of her character, Miranda Sings, because what I had seen made me groan. Now, I’ve been forcibly exposed to too much of it, including that TEN-MINUTE-LONG UKULELE SONG NON-APOLOGY. I can now make a critical judgment that she’s just awful. Unfunny, cruel, lazy, and, yes, occasionally pretty racist.

It’s notable that Ballinger has lawyers on her side now to put out fires, but there are some things she just won’t approach.

Trisha Paytas is a long-time YouTuber with a long, long, incredibly long history of bullshit. Their edgelord-esque content has inspired many a controversies summary and cries of cancellation. Said history includes defending Hitler, using the N-word, being in blackface, ‘coming out’ as trans after claiming she identifies as a chicken nugget (she’s since said she’s non-binary and uses she/they pronouns), and claiming dogs don’t have brains. Taking Paytas at her word is a fool’s errand given that she’s spent many years saying she’s happily putting on a dumb racist persona to get attention.

Recently, she started hosting a podcast with Ballinger. That has quickly come to an end following Ballinger’s behaviour, as well as accusations that she betrayed her so-called friend in an especially sleazy manner. On Monday, the Huffington Post reported that two of Ballinger’s former fans said they had received sexual photographs of Paytas from Ballinger. One fan was a minor at the time. Ballinger is also accused of hosting viewing parties for her friends to mock Paytas’s OnlyFans content.

Paytas posted a video, clearly looking very upset, to condemn Ballinger. She said:

‘I don’t stand by [Ballinger],. I’m embarrassed to be associated with her. I’m embarrassed for the fans that she messaged those to. That should never have happened. And again, this really hurts sex workers as a whole. This is out there and it looks like we’re some deviants because this is used in this way […] I will never speak on Colleen again. She just does not exist to me anymore.’

Whatever you think of Paytas, this is clearly a horrendous breach of privacy, decency, and safety. It’s also classifiable as revenge porn, which is illegal in the state of California where both Ballinger and Paytas reside. Perhaps Ballinger’s lawyers should look into that.

This whole scandal keeps getting darker and grosser. It’s exposed a lot about YouTube celebrities, the questionable dynamics between fans and creators, and the platform’s overall lack of care for its largely young user base. Ballinger is but the tip of a large iceberg, but she’s certainly an especially heinous example of this problem. Again, she is accused not only of sexual questioning of minors but of taking her sex worker friend’s paywall content, hosting parties with the explicit intention of deriding her, then sending it to young teenagers. You have to be a particular creep and bully to do all of that.

Alas, I still don’t think Ballinger will ever truly face consequences for this. Trisha Paytas is a solid example of the goldfish memory of YouTube and how controversies of almost any kind can be spun into further content. Perhaps Ballinger won’t get another Netflix deal, but given that her ‘apology’ video got tons of views and was monetized, I don’t see her stepping away from that platform any time soon. I’m already dreading the 26-minute Hamilton parody she’ll inevitably release to respond to the Paytas allegations.

Maybe YouTube was a mistake.