After four months away from the spotlight and the drama, YouTuber Colleen Ballinger has made her return to the internet with daily vlogs.
In her first “fall vlog” post on Saturday, she spent around three minutes talking about how over her “15 years in comedy” there were times when she “didn’t put enough thought into her fan interactions.” She says she’s now going to therapy. But the remaining 10 minutes of her first vlog is her attempting to showcase normalcy, taking care of her chickens and bringing her kids out to the creek. In the next couple of vlogs, she talks about rocks and makes Christmas ornaments.
In June, the comedienne was accused of having inappropriate conversations and experiences with minors, who said they felt lied to and manipulated. Claims that she asked minors to spread their legs on stage, that she ignored that her brother was talking inappropriately with a 13-year-old, and that she had an underage fan, Adam McIntyre, run her social media accounts quickly spread around the web.
In response to the claims, Ballinger shared her “Toxic Gossip Train” song, where she joked and talked down about the accusations against her in the most confusing response video ever posted to YouTube. The video’s tone-deaf beat went mega-viral and became her most-watched video with 16 million views. The sing-a-long is still up, making her revenue even as she claims she should have handled it better.
“I was being accused of some awful things, and I was just mad,” Ballinger said in her first vlog back. “I should have handled that situation with maturity and empathy, but instead I let my ego take over.”
The return vlog didn’t mention any of the actual claims but featured a rather nebulous sorry that did not go over too well. The video accumulated over double the amount of dislikes compared to likes from 950,000 views.
McIntyre, now a YouTuber with over 400,000 subscribers, posted his response video, warning parents who were still allowing their kids to watch Ballinger’s videos that she “hasn’t changed.”
“I’m so glad Colleen gets to do a fall vlog, let me show you my chickens, whereas me and so many others at the hands of Colleen are genuinely in therapy because of the things she wanted us to do,” McIntyre said.
It feels like Ballinger wants to return to vlogging as if her massive controversy never happened. And judging from the hundreds of positive comments on her videos (although it does seem possible she is deleting some of the negative ones), there’s an audience out there that wants to see her play with chickens and rocks. But if her content goes completely unscrutinized and she maintains her young fan base, what’s to stop her from treating her young fans the same way as she did in the past?
When McIntyre came out with his story for the first time in 2020, it was mostly dismissed because Ballinger’s stans were so vicious in defending her. If Ballinger manages to curate her mommy vlog persona back to what it once was, then there’s no telling what damage she could inflict without notice.
Ballinger finally stept off the Toxic Gossip Train to Mommy vlog island, where she hopes to retire with YouTube ad revenue.