Colleen Ballinger returns to the internet months after viral ukulele video
Nearly five months after her widely criticized ukulele apology went viral, YouTuber Colleen Ballinger has ventured back into the public eye — to mixed reactions.
Following escalating allegations that she engaged in inappropriate interactions with underage fans, Ballinger, 36, had uploaded a video to her vlog channel in June entitled, “hi.” In it, she strummed a ukulele while addressing the backlash through a 10-minute song about “the toxic gossip train.”
The video became one of the most heavily condemned and ridiculed apologies on the internet, with many calling Ballinger out for appearing to make a mockery of serious allegations.
“I just wanted to say that the only thing I’ve ever groomed is my two Persian cats,” Ballinger sang. “I’m not a groomer. I’m just a loser who didn’t understand I shouldn’t respond to fans.”
Then, she disappeared from the internet until Saturday, when she dropped a video entitled, “fall vlog,” in which she spent the first several minutes apologizing for her past behavior before transitioning into a vlog of her day.
“Obviously, the last video that I posted on here is really embarrassing, to say the least,” Ballinger said in the video. “I was being accused of some pretty awful things and I just was mad and I should have handled that situation with maturity and empathy, but instead I just let my ego take over and I’m really disappointed in myself.”
She went on to say that she feels “terrible” about having caused hurt at times when she “did not put enough thought” into her interactions with fans. She also apologized to those disappointed by her silence over the last few months, saying she needed time to listen and learn in order to “create a positive, kind, inclusive, safe space online” moving forward.
“I do not expect anyone to welcome me back with open arms,” she said. “I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind with this video. I just wanted to come on here and say that I’m sorry.”
Ballinger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The YouTuber had risen to fame for her satirical alter ego Miranda Sings, a silly character with a bizarre singing style and lack of self-awareness. Since creating the character in 2008, she has amassed a following of more than 22 million subscribers across three YouTube channels. She also had a Netflix show that ran for two seasons, as well as a comedy special on the platform.
Allegations about Ballinger’s behavior had surfaced as early as 2020, when YouTuber Adam McIntyre made a video claiming she formed an inappropriate friendship with him when he was 13 to 16 years old and sent him lingerie as a joke. At the time, Ballinger responded to some of McIntyre’s allegations in a video titled, “addressing everything.”
McIntyre’s allegations resurfaced this month after another YouTube creator, KodeeRants, who called McIntyre a liar in 2020, made a now-deleted video showing purported screenshots of Ballinger asking about the group’s “favorite position” and suggesting McIntyre include a question in a Q&A on his channel about whether or not the then-teen was a virgin.
Though fans left comments on Ballinger’s return vlog about how much they’ve missed her, others online aren’t quite willing to welcome her back — with many immediately lambasting her new video.
“colleen ballinger thinking she can just come back to the internet with a ‘sincere’ (using that word VERY loosely) apology and then ending the apology video with a regular vlog is… bizarre at best,” one user posted on X. “the apology should’ve come four months ago, but instead we got mocked.”
Some also expressed suspicion that Ballinger’s return coincides with the time of year when creators tend to see the highest earnings from YouTube ads, as brands begin to buy more ad space in preparation for the holidays.
“colleen ballinger returning to youtube as soon as the highest vlogger adsense season is about to start,” one X user wrote, attaching a video to complete the meme.
The video also sparked a flurry of discourse on the subreddit r/ColleenBallingerSnark, a community dedicated to discussing Ballinger and those associated with her.
Despite mainly skeptical reactions across the internet, Ballinger was much more warmly received on her personal social media profiles and in her YouTube comments.
“I was actually just thinking about you with the twins and your birthdays. I’m so happy you’re doing better and actively working on improving yourself,” one commenter wrote on her “fall vlog” video. “It’s never too late to grow as a person. Loving the short hair era. Welcome back ”
Still, some fans say they are still hesitant to offer their support.
“I’m really feeling torn. Used to be a huge fan, was pretty upset to see all the things that came out about you. I’m happy to know that you are doing well,” read another popular comment on the video. “I feel like apology was sincere but i want to see accountability, and whether it is public or private apologies to those involved. I hope this is a new start on a healthier path.”
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