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Colleen Ballinger returns to YouTube with a (non-ukulele) apology

‘There were times when I did not put enough thought into some of my fan interactions,’ says Ballinger

Colleen Ballinger posing on the red carpet at Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids’ Choice Awards, dressed as her Miranda Sings persona. Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Colleen Ballinger, the controversial content creator known for her Miranda Sings persona, has returned to YouTube five months after her infamous ukulele ‘apology’. Ballinger’s new blog content, simply titled “fall vlog,” starts with another apology and an acknowledgment of the “really embarrassing” ukulele video, before launching into sedate content about sea shells, rocks on the shore, and the creator’s domestic life. She posted the 13-minute video on Saturday.

Ballinger is a comedian and musician with a long history on YouTube that allowed her to expand onto Netflix and into live shows. In the summer of 2023, Rolling Stone reported on Ballinger’s interactions with her fanbase. The allegations, which were reported on in several other outlets, included Ballinger maintaining an unhealthy and exploitative relationship with her fans for free labor, mailing lingerie to an underaged fan, and sharing inappropriate and sexual jokes in a group chat with minors.

“Over the last 15 years of my career, there have been moments where I was immature and inappropriate with some of my comedy,” Ballinger says in her new blog content. “And there were times when I did not put enough thought into some of my fan interactions. And because of that behavior, people got hurt. And I am so sorry. I never wanted to hurt anybody, but it’s clear that I did, and I feel so terrible about that.”

After the apology, Ballinger transitions the video into traditional vlog content related to her personal life.

It’s a change in tone from her previous musical apology, which Ballinger posted because “Even though my team has strongly advised me to not say what I want to say, I recently realized they never said that I couldn’t sing what I wanted to say.” The ukulele melody, with a chorus about the “toxic gossip train,” included lines like “I’m not a groomer — just a loser,” and “I thought you wanted me to take accountability, but that’s not the point of your mob mentality, is it, no, your goal is to ruin the life of the person you despise while you dramatize your lies and monetize their demise.”

Ballinger’s return to YouTube raises the question as to whether she has appropriately acknowledged concerns and addressed them. It remains to be seen whether she can escape the impact of the allegations, and the mega-virality of her ukulele apology video from the summer.

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