Colleen Ballinger’s Team Sets the Record Straight on Blackface Claims

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Colleen Ballinger’s legal team spoke out in her defense after the YouTuber was accused of wearing blackface in a resurfaced video of her performing Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” in 2009.

Colleen Ballinger’s Team Slams Blackface Allegations

Colleen Ballinger is facing backlash for a 2009 performance of Beyoncé‘s “Single Ladies” in what some alleged was blackface, which her legal team has denied.

The YouTube star was accused of being racially insensitive when social media influencer Paige Christie unearthed footage of Ballinger covering the 2008 smash hit during one of her live shows. In a 45-second clip posted on Twitter July 5, Ballinger—acting as her awkward alter ego Miranda Sings—was seen belting out the tune with what appeared to be dark paint smeared across her face. 

“I’m gonna need someone to explain the black on her face,” Christie tweeted, prompting activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu to write in a separate tweet, “Colleen Ballinger tells the world she’s a racist with her full chest. Imagine doing a Beyoncé song in Blackface and the audience are laughing & being entertained.”

However, according to a law firm representing Ballinger, the Haters Back Off star was actually in green face paint from a prior cover of Wicked‘s “As Long As You’re Mine.” According to the firm Berk Brettler, Ballinger had painted her face green to look like Elphaba the witch from the musical, before launching into her Beyoncé cover.

“She painted her face green like the witch,” the law firm said in a statement to NBC News. “After that number, she went right into ‘Single Ladies’ (while still wearing the green makeup). At that time, she closed all her shows with that Beyoncé number—it was one of her most popular bits.”

Per the outlet, Berk Brettler also provided a longer video of the performance, which showed Ballinger singing onstage with Wicked actor Oliver Tompsett.

This was not the first time Ballinger faced accusations of racist behavior. Back in 2020, the content creator apologized for employing “racial stereotypes” in a decade-old video in which she and her sister pretended to be Latinx women.

“It is not funny, and it is completely hurtful,” Ballinger said in her apology video. “I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I ever thought this was okay.”

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In the same video, she also addressed accusations of misconduct made by fellow YouTube star Adam McIntyre, who said Ballinger had sent him lingerie on a livestream when he was a teenager.

“I should have never sent that,” Ballinger acknowledged. “I don’t know what part of my brain was missing at the time that I thought, ‘Oh, this is a normal, silly thing to do.'”

Recently, the 36-year-old refuted allegations of child grooming and forming inappropriate relationship with underage fans. In a June 28 video, Ballinger strummed a ukulele while comparing the accusations to a “toxic gossip train” headed for “manipulation station.”

“I’m sure you’re disappointed in my s–tty little song, I know you wanted me to say that I was 100 percent in the wrong,” she continued. “Well, I’m sorry I’m not gonna take that route of admitting to lies and rumors that you made up for clout.”

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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