- 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.”
Quinta Brunson Says This Country is “Not Okay” Following Requests For School Shooting Episode of “Abbott Elementary”
“I don’t want to sound mean, but I want people to understand the flaw in asking for something like this,” the writer and actress tweeted.
Quinta Brunson Calls Out “Wild” Requests
“Abbott Elementary” star and creator Quinta Brunson shut down requests for her to make an episode of the hit comedy series involving a school shooting.
“Wild how many people have asked for a school shooting episode of the show I write,” Brunson tweeted “People are that deeply removed from demanding more from the politicians they’ve elected and are instead demanding ‘entertainment.’ I can’t ask ‘are yall ok’ anymore because the answer is ‘no.’”
Her message came one day after 19 children and two teachers were killed during a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It marked the 27th school shooting of 2022, just 22 weeks into the year. The news of the massacre has rocked the nation, dominating the cultural conversation with calls for change.
Brunson believes those calls should fall on the ears of politicians, not television writers.
“Please use that energy to ask your elected official to get on Beto time and nothing less. I’m begging you,” Brunson said to fans, referring to Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D), who publicly confronted Gov. Greg Abbott (R ) about gun control legislation during a press conference the same day.
“I don’t want to sound mean, but I want people to understand the flaw in asking for something like this. We’re not okay,” she continued. “This country is rotting our brains. I’m sad about it.”
“Abbott Elementary” is a heartwarming sitcom following teachers at a public Philadelphia elementary school. Brunson plays Janine Teagues, a passionate and optimistic second-grade teacher. Despite a lack of resources and funding, Teagues and the rest of the staff are deeply committed to helping their students learn and succeed.
Brunson Shares Example of Suggestion
Brunson shared an example of “one of many” messages she received suggesting a school shooting episode for “Abbott Elementary.” The anonymous fan said a shooting should happen in the “eventual series finale” to “highlight the numerous ones in this nation.”
“Formulate an angle that would get our government to understand why laws need to pass,” the message continued. “I Think Abbott Elementary can affect change. I love the show.”
In response to Brunson’s thread, many were shocked that viewers would want to watch something so devastating happen on a largely uplifting show. Some followed Brunson in questioning why those fans were not directing their focus on politicians instead. Others were frustrated that these requests were being pointed at a joyful show depicting a predominantly Black school.
“I look to Abbott Elementary for a laugh, not a reminder about how black kids will never be safe,” one person wrote.
Having just finished its first season, “Abbott Elementary” is currently being credited as one of the few series saving the network sitcom. It raked in ABC’s highest ratings for a comedy since the series finale of “Modern Family” in 2020. It also became the first ABC sitcom premiere to quadruple its ratings since its initial airing.
“Abbott Elementary” is highly acclaimed by both critics and viewers and is considered a favorite for Emmy nominations this year. It is expected to return in the fall.
See what others are saying: (People) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Washington Post)
Ricky Gervais Criticized For Jokes About Trans People in New Netflix Special
The backlash comes less than a year after Dave Chappelle received similar criticism for his most recent stand-up special on Netflix.
Ricky Gervais Aims Jokes at Trans Community
Comedian Ricky Gervais is facing backlash over transphobic remarks he made in his latest Netflix stand-up special “SuperNature.”
Less than five minutes into the program, which was released on Tuesday, Gervais began aiming his jokes specifically at trans women.
“Oh, women. Not all women, I mean the old-fashioned ones,” Gervais said. “The old-fashioned women, the ones with wombs. Those fucking dinosaurs. I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and cocks!”
“They’re as good as gold, I love them,” he continued. “And now the old-fashioned ones say, ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets.’ ‘Why shouldn’t they use your toilets?’ ‘For ladies!’ ‘They are ladies, look at their pronouns. What about this person isn’t a lady?’ ‘Well, his penis.’ ‘Her penis, you fucking bigot!’ ‘What if he rapes me?’ ‘What if she rapes you, you fucking TERF whore?’”
He then bemoaned cancel culture and “woke comedy,” claiming the surest way for someone to get canceled is to tweet that “women don’t have penises.”
Gervais is no stranger to prompting controversy and outrage with his comedy. He likely anticipated that his remarks would cause a stir, especially given that he carved out time in his special to defend his jokes about trans people.
“Trans people just want to be treated equally,” he said. “I agree. That’s why I include them.”
Gervais noted he made jokes about a variety of groups and people, arguing that these remarks are not a window into his soul or beliefs. He said he would “take on any view” to make a joke as funny as possible, even if it does not reflect his own opinions.
“In real life, of course, I support trans rights,” he said. “I support all human rights, and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your preferred pronouns.”
Moments later, he joked that ladies should still “lose the cock.” The audience erupted in laughter.
Gervais Faces Backlash Online
Gervais was met with swift criticism within hours of “SuperNature” debuting on Netflix. Many said they would cancel their Netflix subscriptions because of the transphobia on the platform.
“Ricky Gervais has a new stand up show out on Netflix today,” one person tweeted. “[Five] minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms. To him we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human.”
“Ricky Gervais is a disgrace, he is going to cause hate crime and ultimately the death of Trans folk,” another person added.
Some further claimed that on top of it being offensive, it is lazy to take shots at marginalized communities in the name of comedy.
“This isn’t comedy. This is making cheap, nasty stereotypes out of a minority group,” one person wrote. “Please, if you’re Transgender or Support Trans lives, don’t watch this.”
Others accused Gervais of riding a wave of transphobia that has recently popped up among major comedians. Last year, Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer” sparked a wave of backlash over the comedian’s jokes about trans people. Netflix staffers staged a walkout in protest, demanding that the company do more to help LGBTQ+ creators and stand against anti-trans content.
Terra Feld, a former Netflix employee who helped organize the protests, encouraged subscribers to ditch Netflix over Gervais’ recent remarks.
Halsey Says Her Label Won’t Release Her New Song Unless They Can “Fake” A Viral TikTok Moment. Artists Say This Points to a Larger Issue in the Industry
Artist Sizzy Rocket said that record companies are forcing musicians “to fit into this box of virality” in hopes of landing a quick hit.
Halsey Calls Out Record Label
Over the last several years, TikTok has changed nearly every aspect of the music industry by sending viral songs to the top of the Billboard charts. Even major artists like Halsey say they cannot escape the pressure to go viral, sparking concern over how the app is influencing music.
On Sunday, Halsey, who uses she/they pronouns, posted a TikTok saying they had a new song they were eager to release, but their label said they “can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.”
“Everything is marketing,” Halsey wrote, adding that this issue is impacting “basically every artist” right now.
Countless songs, including chart-toppers like “Old Town Road” and “drivers license” first soared to success on TikTok. Labels are eager to recreate that path in whatever ways they can.
Halsey’s label, Astralwerks-Capitol, gave a statement to Variety claiming its “belief in Halsey as a singular and important artist is total and unwavering.”
“We can’t wait for the world to hear their brilliant new music,” the statement said.
In response, Halsey noted that Astralwerks was the company that signed her before upstreaming her to Capitol. She said this statement in particular “came from the company who believed in me from the jump” and not the company she is “wrestling with now.”
Artists Speak Out
Nearly eight million views later, Halsey’s TikTok prompted fans and people working in the music industry to criticize the practice of forcing songs to go viral.
“Halsey has sold over 100 million records and she is having to put up with this nonsense?” musician Rebecca Ferguson tweeted. “Artists and creatives should be ‘free.’”
“halsey’s tik tok only scratches the surface of what’s happening in music right now,” singer and songwriter Sizzy Rocket added.
While speaking to Rogue Rocket, Sizzy Rocket said that labels and producers don’t understand that making a song and going viral on TikTok are two different art forms. The pressure of going viral often puts artists in positions where they feel their creative integrity could be compromised.
“Artists like myself and Halsey, who require a little bit more time and space to craft our messages, are sort of being forced to fit into this box of virality and so, it’s a big problem,” Sizzy Rocket said.
“As an artist, I can’t just do something to go viral.”
Sizzy Rocket said that labels have approached her to write songs for their more viral artists, oftentimes offering no pay for the session.
“It’s taken me four albums, I just released my fourth album, and ten years to develop this melodic and lyrical style,” she explained. “You know I have a thing, I have a je ne sais quoi, and so to ask me to just give that to a brand new artist who just went viral overnight is truly offensive.”
Smaller Artists Face Bigger Issues
As Halsey’s call-out TikTok has spread online, the “Closer” singer denied that the video was a promotional stunt of its own, arguing she is “way too established to stir something like this up for no reason or resort to this as a marketing tactic.”
But whether it be intentionally or inadvertently, Halsey has drummed up attention for their new music. Smaller artists don’t have the luxury of being able to instantly reach the masses. Sizzy Rocket said that up and comers like herself have to struggle more to get the spotlight, while mainstream artists have a larger fanbase to fall back on.
“I feel like smaller artists are more affected because we’re getting buried, right?” she said. “There’s so much content, there are so many people trying to go viral.”
“I feel like larger artists, because they have a more established and bigger audience, they sort of have access to that attention already,” Sizzy Rocket continued. “But for smaller artists, we sort of have to like, dig, dig through the pile of everyone else sort of grabbing for that trend.”
While Sizzy Rocket does not consider herself a viral artist, she said she did at one point try to go viral on TikTok. After filming the video, she felt it would be of no benefit.
“I just couldn’t post it because I didn’t understand how that sort of cheap grab for attention would help me deliver the message of my music,” she said.
With that said, Sizzy Rocket said she does not blame any TikTok artists who went viral on their own. Instead, she pointed the finger at labels who are trying to drive inorganic viral success while lacking an understanding of how art and social media interact with one another.
“I don’t want to place any blame on the actual TikTok artists who did go viral. I feel like they deserve to make their art as well,” she said. “It’s more about the label prioritizing the platform over the art itself.”
Other artists like Zara Larsson and Florence Welch have bemoaned the pressures they face from their record companies to be active on TikTok. Many agree that the expectations labels have in this arena are unfair to artists.
“labels all want a dove cameron ‘boyfriend’ moment (which i’d argue was rather organic) but how sustainable is that kind of traction as it’s v fleeting + how can artists even replicate that kind of virality,” culture writer Zoya Raza-Sheikh asked on Twitter.
For Halsey, it remains unclear when their new song will see the light of day. In a tweet, they claimed their label was impressed by their TikTok’s traction, but only said “we’ll see” when asked if the song could be released.