With stay-at-home orders still in effect across the globe, many (mostly children and myself) have turned to the comfortable mundanity of YouTube for their binge-watching needs. That means if YouTubers are smart, they’d use this time as an opportunity to rake in views with the always popular apology video. Case in point: Colleen Ballinger.
On Tuesday, Ballinger—better known as her alter ego Miranda Sings, though she was on Broadway for a second—posted a 13-minute apology video addressing a handful of new controversies and some dating back over a decade. She began by apologizing for a recently resurfaced video filmed 14 years ago with her sister where the pair pretended to be Latina “completely based in racial stereotypes,” Ballinger says. “It is not funny, and it is completely hurtful. I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I ever thought this was okay,” she explains. “I was a sheltered teenager who was stupid and ignorant and clearly extremely culturally insensitive.”
Ballinger goes on to apologize for another video filmed 12 years ago wherein she made fatphobic comments about a woman who sat next to her on a flight. She also apologizes for “insensitively” joking about putting her dog down after it bit her. And as if that wasn’t enough, she attempts to clear up any confusion surrounding a new accusation from a 17-year-old Irish fan named Adam Mcintyre. Allegedly, he accused her of sending him underwear in the mail and of refusing to pay him for creating content for her idle Miranda Sings Twitter account. Essentially, she gave away a bunch of unworn Forever 21 clothing during a live-stream a few years back—she often gives away odd items to fans—and didn’t see how giving intimate apparel to a child could be controversial.
“It was completely stupid of me. I should have never sent that,” she says in an exasperated tone in the video. “I don’t know what part of my brain was missing at the time that I thought, ‘Oh, this is a normal, silly thing to do.’ I should’ve realized and recognized how dumb that was and never sent it to him no matter how much he asked. But it was never a sneaky, creepy, gross thing that I was doing in secret.”
Near the end of her apology video, Ballinger explains that she often recruits fans to work for her, unpaid and on spec in the beginning. She hires them after a test run and only if she likes what they produce, which is what she claims happened in Mcintyre’s case. She also claimed to have let him run her Twitter account for a day after glancing over some of his Twitter ideas and admitted to not looking over those ideas very closely. He, of course, posted something “problematic,” and she says she cut ties then. He, of course, has posted his own vlog about the incident, titled “colleen ballinger, stop lying,” which has over 900,000 views.
Mcintyre claims it was Ballinger’s idea to send him the bra and underwear set. In her video, she exclaims that he sent her a message saying he requested the lingerie, specifically, and she saw nothing wrong with it then but is distraught about it now. In his video, he shares screenshots from their DM conversations. There, he shows messages that she sent about making him her “social media intern” adding that, “if things go well, we can talk about me hiring you part-time for an hourly rate.” After the “problematic” Tweet was posted, they stopped working together. Neither mentioned what the Tweet was, though; in Mcintyre’s video, he shows a few DMs from her expressing concern over something being construed as homophobic. Ballinger says she did not share screenshots in her own video because he’s a minor.
It’s an absolute mess and one that probably could’ve been resolved if she didn’t try to employ a teenage fan for free, or if she had actually read what he was planning to post, or if she thought before her actions, etcetera. At the very least, they’re both drumming up attention and clicks, the ultimate currency in the YouTube economy.