A video of YouTube personality and comedian Colleen Ballinger allegedly wearing blackface while performing Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” emerged on social media yesterday. Today, a rep for the comedian confirmed that the face paint was actually green, as Ballinger had performed a parody of a track from the Broadway musical “Wicked” earlier that night. Wicked’s main character is a green-faced witch named Elphaba, who is the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Reps for Colleen Ballinger claim the resurfaced clip of the YouTuber performing ‘Single Ladies’ was not blackface, and instead green paint for a ‘Wicked’ song she performed earlier in the show. pic.twitter.com/5adFJT8Ay1
— Pop Base (@PopBase) July 6, 2023
The allegation of the racist practice of blackface emerged after a series of other serious allegations. Ballinger, who portrays the popular Miranda Sings character on her long running YouTube channel, had a group chat composed entirely of fans who were minors, called “Weenies.” A member of the group chat who is now a digital creator himself, Adam McIntyre, was first to come forward with receipts of sexually explicit and inappropriate messages that Ballinger had shared with the group.
Among the inappropriate messages were nude images of fellow YouTube creator Trisha Paytas. Ballinger allegedly insulted Paytas’ body and weight. Paytas recently addressed these allegations, referring to the messages as “barbaric.”
Additionally, a screenwriter who worked on Ballinger’s Netflix series “Haters Back Off!” came forward with allegations of workplace abuse. Ballinger addressed the string of controversies prior to the blackface allegation in a 10 minute video. In the video, the comedian sings over light ukulele strumming, referring to the allegations as “the toxic gossip train.” Ballinger continues to maintain that none of the allegations were true.
Video of Colleen Ballinger performing “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé in blackface has surfaced.
The YouTuber was recently accused of engaging in racist behavior on set of her Netflix series ‘Haters Back Off!’ pic.twitter.com/mMiqyzMYRa
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 5, 2023
Social Media Response
Many felt that despite the blackface allegation being proven untrue, the green paint could easily be misinterpreted, and should have been removed for this segment of the show.
she’s still over, if she had any concern she would’ve wiped it off after this part of the show ????
— ☆ (@beysrep) July 6, 2023
Ballinger previously apologized in 2020 for impersonating Latina women in previous videos, saying “I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I ever thought this was OK. I was a sheltered teenager who was stupid and ignorant and clearly extremely culturally insensitive… Racial stereotypes are not funny, they’re not a joke, and they should never be joked about.”
Neither McIntyre nor Ballinger have directly addressed the most recent allegation of blackface.