YouTube star Colleen Ballinger on Wednesday, June 28, shared a video of herself singing an original song in which she addresses the wave of backlash following allegations that she engaged in inappropriate relationships with underage fans.
In the 10-minute video, titled “hi,” Ballinger strums on a ukulele while addressing what she calls “the facts.” She said that while her team “strongly advised” her to “not say what I want to say,” they never told her she couldn’t sing.
“A lot of people are saying some things about me that aren’t quite true. Doesn’t matter if it’s true, though, just as long as it’s entertaining to you, right?” Ballinger sings in the video, which was posted to her Colleen Vlogs channel, one of three that she operates. “You guys having fun? All aboard the toxic gossip train, chugging down the tracks of misinformation. The toxic gossip train.”
Ballinger, 36, is known for her satirical alter ego Miranda Sings, a silly character who rose to fame for her bizarre singing style and lack of self-awareness. She created the character in 2008 and has since amassed a following of more than 22 million subscribers across different YouTube channels. She also had a Netflix show that ran two seasons, as well as a comedy special currently available to stream on the platform.
Though many of Ballinger’s fans have been following her for more than a decade, some who recently spoke with NBC News said they are processing their own guilt over supporting her, and rethinking how they engage with fandoms entirely.
Some videos circulating across social media from Ballinger’s most recent Miranda Sings tour stop in Indianapolis appear to show some fans booing at her. NBC News was unable to verify the videos independently. Ballinger remains on tour through the fall, according to her website.
Allegations about Ballinger’s behavior first surfaced in 2020, when YouTuber Adam McIntyre made a video claiming that Ballinger formed an inappropriate personal friendship with him while he was between the ages of 13 and 16, which included her sending 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 earlier this month after another YouTube creator, KodeeRants, who called McIntyre a liar in 2020, made a video alleging that Ballinger privately shared screenshots of messages with McIntyre in a group chat called “Colleeny’s Weenies.”
In those purported screenshots, displayed in the now-deleted KodeeRants videos, Ballinger asks about the group’s “favorite position” and suggests McIntyre include a question in a “Q&A” on his channel about whether or not the then-teen was a virgin.
Ballinger did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday following the release of her video. McIntyre also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
About halfway through her “toxic gossip train” song, Ballinger says she “made some jokes in poor taste” and “lots of dumb mistakes,” but that she did not intend to manipulate fans. She goes on to claim that the accusations of her being a “groomer” or a “predator” are untrue.
“But everyone just believes that you are the type of person who manipulates and abuses children,” Ballinger says, before pausing to stare into the camera. “So I just wanted to say that the only thing I’ve ever groomed is my two Persian cats. I’m not a groomer, I’m just a loser who didn’t understand I shouldn’t respond to fans. And I’m not a predator, even though a lot of you think so because five years ago I made a fart joke.”
McIntyre was quick to respond to Ballinger’s video in a livestream on Twitch, during which he said he was in disbelief and alleged that he didn’t receive an apology from Ballinger directly or publicly.
“If anything, in this video, she has shown you that she is an evil, evil person. I dealt with the wrath she sent me in 2020,” McIntyre said during the stream. “This will be nothing like that because the difference between then and now is that I was too scared to speak up in 2020. I am not too scared to speak up in 2023, and I will not shut up on this now.”
McIntyre also tweeted a response to the song, echoing what he said during his livestream.
Ballinger’s YouTube video, which racked up more than 30,000 views and 10,000 comments within an hour of being posted, sparked an immediate influx of reactions online.
Her name trended on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon — and the video also inspired a deluge of memes.
Some commenters on the video appeared to express their support for Ballinger. Others online were more critical, with several on Twitter calling the song a “slap in the face” to those who came forward with allegations.
This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.