- YouTuber Colleen Ballinger, more widely known as Miranda Sings, apologized for a racist caricature, fat-shaming, and other “insensitive” remarks she made in previous videos.
- Ballinger also defended herself against claims of child grooming, which came after 17-year-old Adam Mcintyre, a former fan, posted a video accusing her manipulating him.
- Mcintyre also revealed that Ballinger sent him an unused set of women’s lingerie when he was thirteen.
- Ballinger gave more context about the lingerie situation and apologized for mistakes she said she made when communicating with him.
Adam Mcintyre Posts Video
YouTuber Colleen Ballinger has now addressed multiple accusations that she’s faced in recent weeks, including claims of grooming, racism, fat-shaming, and joking about getting her dog put down when she was a child.
Much of the criticism against Ballinger, who is known for her off-color and quirky Miranda Sings character, stemmed from a video posted two weeks ago by 17-year-old Adam Mcintyre.
In that video, titled “colleen ballinger, stop lying,” Mcintyre said he used to be a huge fan of Ballinger, so much so that he ran fan accounts on Instagram and Twitter. According to Mcintyre, the two first met at one of Ballinger’s live shows in 2016. At the time, Mcintyre was 13-years-old. Later, in 2018, Mcintyre said they met again at another show.
Between this time, Mcintyre says the two became good friends and would often talk over social media; however, Mcinytre also said that during that time, Ballinger started to tell him private details about her divorce from Joshua Evans in 2016.
Mcintyre said while his parents were originally supportive that Ballinger was interacting with their son because he was such a huge fan, they started to become cautious, wondering why Ballinger, who was 30 at the time, was sharing such private information with a minor.
After that, Mcintyre said his relationship with Ballinger turned into one where he was asked to look at drama channels and find out what they were saying about her, Evans, her ex-friends, and her fans.
“At the time, I saw this as harmless, and I was just really excited that my favorite person in the entire world wanted to talk to me,” Mcintyre said. “Now, looking back though, I can see it was just a way of baiting me to constantly get me to get her the information.”
Mcintyre said because of this, his name began being inserted into those situations and he ultimately faced cyberbullying because of it. His parents then encouraged him to distance himself from Ballinger. He said he did several times but would always get sucked back in because Ballinger would send him a “nice” message.
“I tried not to be upset with myself because I was thirteen to fifteen during this time,” he said. “I’m still really young now. I’m only seventeen, but looking back, it’s hard to not get… like ugh! ‘Fix yourself! You know, stop engaging in that. You’re being used.’”
Ballinger Sends Mcintyre an Unused Bra in 2016
One the most concerning claims that Mcintyre made was that Ballinger sent him a pair of women’s lingerie in 2016.
The incident began with a livestream where Ballinger and her friend, Kory DeSoto, were showing off “ugly clothes” they bought at Forever 21. DeSoto put that underwear on over his clothes as a joke. They promised to send them to fans, but one of those fans ended up being Mcintyre.
“Adam, let me know what you want,” Ballinger says in the video, “He’s in Ireland. Hi, Adam. I love you. Okay, I’m sending him something. Okay, maybe he’ll want the panties. Although, then his parents will be like, ‘You’re not allowed to watch—who was sending you panties?’ ‘Mom, don’t worry! I watched a boy wear them online first!’”
According to Mcintyre, even though Ballinger was joking about his parents being mad, they were furious. Mcintyre said they took the underwear right away.
Apparently, however, his parents kept the lingerie. In his video, Mcintyre said he asked his mother to find them, and she later did. In the video, he then shows them as proof that Ballinger actually sent him the underwear.
Mcintyre Posts “Queerbait” on Miranda Sings Twitter
According to Mcintyre, after the underwear incident, he helped give her ideas from 2017 to 2018. That was partially because he said Ballinger was looking for a way to reinvigorate the character.
“She was aware that the Miranda character had passed its time and that she didn’t really enjoy doing it anymore because she couldn’t really be problematic as the character anymore,” he said.
“So in December 2017, I proper started giving tweets for the Miranda account. This included tweets on iCarly, Brazil, and a number of other things.”
After that, he stopped for a while but said he started giving more ideas on March 25 of this year. According to Mcintyre, Ballinger then started tweeting some of his ideas.
With that, Mcintyre said he pitched about 15 different tweet ideas, one of those including a tweet where Miranda Sings would “come out” as a Meghan Trainor fan.
Mcintyre said Ballinger was initially confused about the tweet, saying that she wasn’t sure what he was trying to say about Meghan. Showing a screenshot of their alleged conversation, he said he then explained the joke and she gave him the greenlight, sending him her login info for the Miranda Sings Twitter account and saying that she trusted him.
Showing another screenshot, Mcintyre claims that Ballinger said she was considering him her social media intern and that she was thinking about formally hiring him if the internship went well. In the alleged screenshot, Ballinger also said she didn’t want to take advantage of his help, which is why she said she wanted to pay him.
After that, Mcintyre posted the tweet.
Ballinger Accused of Queerbaiting
Shortly after that tweet went live, many fans and others on social media accused Ballinger of “queerbaiting,” essentially accusing her of making light of how difficult it can be for so many LGBTQ+ people to come out.
i do understand miranda, i’ve seen videos and im not stupid. but this goes beyond “making fun of people who queerbait” because that’s NOT what she’s doing. by saying she’s “coming out as a megan trainor fan” it makes it look like she’s mocking people who come out as 1/?— lily (@lgbtjshaught) March 27, 2020
“This is one of the main reasons it’s so hard to do Miranda now,” Ballinger reportedly told Mcintyre, according to the alleged screenshots. “People have a hard time understanding satire and jokes especially with sensitive topics.”
“Even though you have the password now,” she allegedly added, “I need to approve everything you post before you post it just to avoid problems.”
According to those alleged screenshots, Ballinger also went on to say that she wasn’t mad, just paranoid because “everyone always gets mad at me and I always have to apologize.”
Afterward, Ballinger deleted the Trainor tweet, allegedly privately telling Mcintyre that it wasn’t his fault and that she was “just too sensitive.”
Later, Ballinger reportedly messaged him again, saying she felt overwhelmed by all the backlash she was getting for that tweet and that she didn’t know what to do. Mcintyre then said Ballinger told him about how she apologized to one person.
“The thing is, I agree with them,” Ballinger allegedly told him. “Queerbaiting is not a joke. I’m super sad I’ve upset so many people.”
Regarding messages like that, Mcintyre has affirmed that Ballinger was trying to guilt him and “make me feel bad for something she had already approved and found funny. And she didn’t seem to see any problems with it.”
In later messages, Ballinger continues to tell him how bad she feels, though Mcintyre makes the point of saying she never asked him about how he felt.
Mcintyre then sent her one last message saying that the situation would die down and that “twitter drama stays on twitter,” but from here, she didn’t respond.
Old Videos Resurface
Now, following Mcintyre’s video, the backlash against Ballinger began to stack. Because of a lot of the claims he made in that video, many people on social media called her a child groomer.
People like her get away with CHILD GROOMING which ISN’T OKAY she can go f off with all her stans. I used to be a fan, now I’m not.— RachToph (@racheltopham101) May 13, 2020
she IS a grown woman which is why sending lingerie to a minor no matter HOW “funny” it was or how much he “begged for it” IS still child grooming— doja mel ari (@saysormix) May 7, 2020
Others dug up old videos of her, one from 14 years ago where she and her sister pretended to be two Latina women. In that video, it appears that the women darkened their skin and drew on exaggerated eyebrows.
Also in it, they sing about crossing the border, working at Del Taco, and making burritos.
In a separate video posted twelve years ago, people accused her of fat-shaming because of how she talks about an overweight woman who sat next to her on a plane.
“So then they’re about to close the doors and who walks on: an extremely obese Asian woman with facial hair,” Ballinger said in the video, “and she walks on and I’m like, ‘Please don’t sit next to me. Please don’t sit next to me.’ And then I turn around, and of course, there are no open seats on the plane, so of course, she comes and sits right next to me. And on me. Her fat rolls are like rolling over onto me.”
In another clip, Ballinger told a story about how when she was three, she dug her nails into the family dog. It yelped and then bit her on the face. Ultimately, that dog was then put down. After telling that story, Ballinger joked about how she “murdered” the family dog.
Colleen Ballinger Addresses Accusations and Apologizes
While Ballinger also faced additional criticism for other actions she’s posted in videos, on Tuesday, she posted a video titled, “addressing everything.”
In it, she apologized for and attempted to explain these four different sets of accusations.
Regarding the video where she pretends to be a Latina woman, she says, “The characters are completely based on racial stereotypes. It is not funny, and it is completely hurtful. I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I ever thought that this was okay. I was a sheltered teenager, who was stupid and ignorant and clearly, extremely culturally insensitive. Racial stereotypes are not funny. They are not a joke, and they should never be joked about.”
With that, Ballinger then went on to add that she deleted the video from her channel a few years after it was posted.
Following that apology, she apologized for fat-shaming that woman on the plane.
“And I watched this clip, and I was shocked and I was appalled that those things were coming out of my mouth twelve years ago, because that is not the woman who I am today,” she said.
Ballinger also explained that she’s a “huge” advocate for body positivity now.
After that, she clarified her comments about the incident with her family dog, saying that a doctor told the family that legally, the dog needed to be put down. According to Ballinger, this very much upset her at the time, even though the video in question showed her being insensitive.
“Over the years, I have addressed this in videos a few times talking about how guilty I feel, how upset I am that this happened,” she said. “Still, to this day, I feel guilty as a 33-year-old woman that our dog had to be put down for biting me.”
However, the meat of this video was focused on addressing Mcintyre’s video and the backlash she’s seen because of it.
As to why she didn’t address it sooner, she said Mcintyre’s mother reached out to her, asking her not to speak his name, but now, she said it’s gotten to a point where she felt she needed to tell her side of the story.
With that, she talks about the “context” of why she sent Mcintyre women’s underwear when he was 13-years-old.
“In this livestream, I did a giveaway,” she said. “I was giving away clothes that were unused, tags still on, brand new, that I did not want. One of the items that was in this box was a really ugly pair of underwear. As soon as we pulled them out, Kory and I started laughing and joking around about how ugly they were. ‘Why did I buy these ridiculous underwear? It was so stupid.’”
She also noted that people started asking for them, including Mcintyre. In fact, that original video does appear to back up her claim.
After that livestream, Ballinger said she forgot to send the lingerie to Mcintyre, but he asked again over Twitter. This time, she sent it to him.
And while she noted that she’s always given away weird and random items, she said she does now realize how inappropriate the whole situation was.
“And so in my mind at the time,” Ballinger said, “this was no different than all the other weird stuff I send to my fans as a joke. Now, in hindsight, I see how completely stupid of me—I should have never sent that. I don’t know what part of my mind was missing at the time that I thought, ‘Oh, this is a normal silly thing to do.’”
“But it was never a sneaky, creepy gross thing that I was doing in secret,” she added. “It was a silly, stupid mistake that now is being blow way out of proportion.”
Ballinger also said that she always believed Mcintyre’s mother was always very supportive about her interactions with Mcintyre and that if she had known his mother was uncomfortable with the situation, that she would have cut off contact.
After that, Ballinger then went on to clarify her relationship with Mcintyre and why she allowed him to tweet for her, noting that she has, for years, publicly asked fans for advice on what to tweet.
She said, several years ago, she used some of Mcintyre’s tweets a few years back. She said after that, Mcintyre asked her multiple times if he could come up with ideas for posts, but she said didn’t engage in those conversations until recently when he sent her a folder full of ideas.
She then gave him what she described as a “test-run,” saying that if it went well, she wanted to hire him. Notably, she confirmed that he posted the Meghan Trainor tweet but admitted she failed to look over those ideas closely enough.
“And when he posted it,” she said. “I put zero blame on him at all. This was my fault. I knew better than to let someone else tweet for me. I should have reviewed closely every single thing that was going to come out of Miranda’s mouth. I let him know that I loved him, he did a great job. It was my fault, not his.”
Ballinger then ends her video by saying she still doesn’t blame Mcintyre, that she wishes him success, and that she hopes everyone can move on from the situation.
“No, I should have never sent a fan underwear,” she admitted. “How stupid am I? No, I definitely should have never given him access to my twitter account. And no, I should not have talked to him as often as I did. But I am not a monster. I am not a groomer, and I shouldn’t kill myself.”
The Try Guys Address Removal of Ned Fulmer: “We Had No Idea This Was Going On”
The group said that by severing ties with Fulmer, it felt like they were losing a friend.
“That Is Not What We Stand For”
Digital comedy and sketch group The Try Guys posted a video on Monday night explaining the recent removal of member Ned Fulmer.
Last week, the Internet was filled with speculation that Fulmer, who is married with children, was having an affair with a staffer for The Try Guys. Fulmer confirmed the reports, claiming he had a “consensual workplace relationship.” The Try Guys quickly announced that Fulmer would no longer be working with the group as the result of an internal review.
In Monday’s video, the remaining three members, Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and Keith Habersberger, explained what led to their decision to remove Fulmer. While the trio noted there were legal issues that prevented them from sharing certain details, they wanted to be as transparent as possible.
“On Labor Day weekend, multiple fans alerted us that they had seen Ned and an employee engaging in public romantic behavior,” Habersberger explained. “We reached out to check on that employee and Ned confirmed the reports, and since confirmed that this had been going on for some time, which was obviously very shocking to us.”
He emphasized that the rest of the group “had no idea this was going on.”
After this, The Try Guys reached out to a variety of lawyers and HR professionals to make sure they handled the situation correctly.
“This is something we took very seriously,” Yang said. “We refused to sweep things under the rug. That is not who we are, and that is not what we stand for.”
Removing Fulmer From Content
They decided to immediately remove Fulmer from work activities and hired an HR rep to conduct a review. Fulmer was also withdrawn from releases pending the results of that review.
As part of this, his video section was erased, he was digitally taken out of some content, and he was not included in merch drops. The Try Guys said this was a long and tedious process.
“Honestly, I want to give major props to our editing staff for how deftly they handled that,” Kornfeld said. “There are several videos that we have deemed as fully unreleasable, you will never see them, and that is due to his involvement. And that is a decision that has cost us lots of money.”
“We will not be able to recoup that money,” he continued. “But it’s a decision we stand by proudly.”
The group declined to share details of the review but claimed it found that Fulmer engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of the team. Because of this, Yang, Kornfeld, and Habersberger gave written consent on Sept. 16 to ax Fulmer as a manager and employee of The Try Guys company.
The three said they were always planning to make a public statement about their decision, but were initially waiting out of respect to the families and employees involved. As online speculation arose, they chose to deal with it sooner.
“We’re losing a friend, we’re losing someone we built a company with, we have countless memories with, we just made a TV show together,” Kornfeld said. “I’m sure many of you feel the same way.”
According to the group, some upcoming videos featuring Fulmer will be edited to remove him. They said they are currently taking time to reimagine their channel.
Bruce Willis Denies Rumors He Sold His Likeness For Deepfake Use
Deepfakes face criticism from Hollywood to social media.
Willis Debunks Rumors
Actor Bruce Willis denied rumors over the weekend that he sold his likeness to the deepfake company DeepCake.
Willis agreed last year for his face to be used in a commercial for a Russian telecoms company. For this commercial, DeepCake digitally edited Willis’ face onto a Russian actor. This sparked rumors that Willis had sold the rights to his likeness for the company to use in future projects.
However, both management for Willis and DeepCake itself denied any partnership or agreement for these rights.
“Bruce couldn’t sell anyone any rights, they are his by default,” DeepCake said.
Agreements for the AI generation of actors have been heard of before, however. Recently, actor James Earl Jones agreed for his voice to be technologically generated for the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise.
This comes as deepfakes are facing mounting criticism online, including from prominent YouTube personality and author, Hank Green. He recently tweeted about a channel that uses similar deepfake technology and AI-voice generation to parody popular YouTube creators. He stressed his concern that while the channel in question may not be nefarious, this technology could end up being harmful.
“There are ways to do this that would be much worse, more mean spirited, and more exploitative than this,” Green said. “And I’m very worried about what that will look like, because if this is working (and allowed), people will do it.”
Among other issues, Green mentioned these videos could abuse monetization and sponsorship opportunities while exploiting someone else’s face and brand. Green even implored YouTube to evaluate its terms of service as the popularity of deepfakes rise.
See what others are saying: (BBC) (Mashable) (The Telegraph)
Twitch Faces Backlash After Booking Megan Thee Stallion At TwitchCon Amid Creator Pay Cuts
The cut in revenue share has ignited severe backlash on Twitch, where users argue pay for creators should be increased, not slashed.
Revenue Share Shake Up
Twitch users are criticizing the company for hiring artist Megan Thee Stallion to perform at TwitchCon just one week after announcing cutbacks to top creator pay.
Last week, the video and streaming platform said that starting in June of next year, some creators will receive less revenue from their subscriptions. While the standard split for subscription revenue is 50/50, some major streamers previously received a more favorable 70/30 share in premium agreement terms.
Many creators have long argued that everyone should get that 70/30 share, but Twitch took a step in the opposite direction. In the future, streamers with premium terms will only get the 70/30 slice for their first $100,000 from subscription revenue. After that, they will get bumped down to the regular 50/50 cut.
The company argued the move was necessary as the premium terms previously lacked transparency and consistency, insisting it tried to modify the policy in a way that impacted the least amount of creators. According to Twitch’s statement, 90% of streamers on standard agreements will not even be impacted by the change.
Still, this move outraged Twitch users who were furious the company was not investing more in the creators that bring so many viewers to its platform. Those frustrations were exacerbated on Wednesday when the company announced Megan Thee Stallion would make an appearance at TwitchCon, a weekend-long event set to take place in San Diego in early October.
Backlash Continues to Mount
While no details of Megan Thee Stallion’s agreement to perform have been disclosed, one can assume she charges a pretty penny to book at an event of this nature. Critics argued that if Twitch is willing to spend money on her, it should be willing to spend it on its own streamers.
“So Twitch can’t afford to pay their creators 70/30, can’t fix their media player that crashes after each ad, can’t enforce their policies so people aren’t doing inappropriate things on stream, but they can afford paying celebrities to promote their streaming site?” one person wrote.
“It’s weird that a company that just announced a bunch of budget cuts due to infrastructure costs goes out and grabs an A-list musician instead of promoting their own musicians that run on their platform,” another person claimed.
“Instead of giving your creators a cut they deserve when they do so much work, this is what you do…?” one user asked. “Maybe give your creators a better deal instead of wasting their hard earned money on things we don’t even want.”
Twitch has not responded to the outrage, but Megan Thee Stallion was not the only music act the Amazon-owned service booked for the event. Kim Petras and Meet Me at the Altar will also take the stage at TwitchCon.
The backlash comes as concerns have been mounting against Twitch for a plethora of reasons including creator pay, gambling streams, and more.
In recent months, some of the platform’s biggest names have left Twitch in favor of rival services like YouTube Gaming.