Colleen Ballinger critics say YouTuber’s resurfaced videos show racist content

Colleen Ballinger is posing and smiling hand to her hip while wearing in a shiny, gray dress at a red carpet event
Colleen Ballinger is again facing criticism — this time for old videos of her performing in yellowface and a Beyoncé parody.
(Eric Charbonneau / Invision / Associated Press)
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YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger is facing a new wave of criticism after an old video of her Miranda Sings character performing a Beyoncé song resurfaced Wednesday and went viral.

The unlisted video remains on her Miranda Sings YouTube channel, titled “Single Ladies,” and is a parody of Beyoncé’s 2008 hit single. While the video is dated to February 2018, it is not clear when or where the performance took place.

In the video, Ballinger’s forehead and cheeks are smeared with a dark substance. She and two backup dancers wear outfits meant to mimic Beyoncé’s black leotards from the “Single Ladies” music video.


“I’m gonna need someone to explain the black on her face,” tweeted fellow YouTube and social media personality Paige Christie, who was the first to share a clip of the video Wednesday morning.

Colleen Ballinger, known for her Miranda Sings character, has denied accusations of “grooming” minor fans, other inappropriate behavior, by singing a song.

June 28, 2023

The videos add to a growing list of allegations against the “Haters Back Off” actor, including accusations of “grooming” her minor fans for labor, allegedly making sexual jokes with minors in a group chat, and other inappropriate behavior with fans. After weeks of silence, Ballinger responded last week with a song in which she played a ukulele and dismissed the claims as “toxic gossip.” The video was met with outrage from critics and fans alike, commenting that her address came off as insensitive, poking fun at their grievances.

YouTuber Joshua David Evans, who was married to Ballinger from 2015 to 2016 after seven years of dating, also agreed with critics, tweeting of Ballinger, “This behavior was my reality anytime I spoke up & disagreed with her actions & rhetoric during 2009-2016. ... I was gaslit too.”

Colleen Ballinger’s ex-husband, Joshua David Evans, said he felt ‘gaslit’ by the Miranda Sings personality. She denied grooming claims in a ukulele song.

June 30, 2023

Christie suggested the recently resurfaced “Single Ladies” video could have been part of Ballinger’s 2010 tour in London, citing Ballinger’s 2018 book, “My Diarrhe,” which includes a QR code that leads to the video of the performance.

“Not only did you disrespect Beyoncé but also the entire Black community,” tweeted Black activist Hamdia Ahmed.

“What is the joke here? What is the punch line? That a White woman is mocking a Black woman?” tweeted comedian Randolph Terrance. “This is what Blackface is, a mockery.”


Several users on Twitter, however, suggested Ballinger’s face paint was actually green and was used for an earlier performance as Elphaba from the musical “Wicked.”

Christie tweeted a separate video that accuses Ballinger of editing her videos to scrub them of racist content, including a “Talk Dirty to Me” parody in which she appears in yellowface, dressed in Asian garb with a fan, speaking in a vaguely East Asian accent.

Videos circulating in recent days include other Ballinger parodies, such as a remake of PSY’s Korean pop hit “Gangnam Style,” in which she speaks in gibberish, peppered with stereotypical Japanese words, such as “sudoku” and “Tamagotchi.”

Further parody videos include a reenactment of the Thanksgiving story and signing of the Declaration of Independence, where Ballinger dresses up as the Native American Squanto, with a feathered headdress, also talking in gibberish.

Colleen Ballinger, who is YouTube famous as the character Miranda Sings — a character who is herself, and in a sense independently, YouTube famous — is bringing her alter ego to Netflix this week.

Oct. 13, 2016

A representative for Ballinger did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

Since she started posting videos of her Miranda Sings character in 2009, Ballinger has tapped the hate she’s received online and channeled it into her over-the-top diva persona. She crafted Miranda as an egotistical satire of an internet personality who sings badly and has poor comic taste.


Ballinger’s fan base grew over the next five years, through her videos and live performances on tour. Her career hit a high point in 2016 when Netflix allowed her to develop a two-season series, “Haters Back Off” based on her Miranda character.