Respected YouTubers Who Are Actually Terrible People - Grunge

While there’s nothing wrong with adult YouTubers making content for kids, that’s a thing that comes with boundaries and responsibilities. In 2023, Rolling Stone reported that four fans had come forward to say that the ridiculously popular Colleen Ballinger hadn’t just skirted those barriers, but burned them to the ground and danced on the ashes. Among the first was Adam McIntyre, who started following Ballinger when he was 10, and who by 14 had struck up a friendship with her that he said turned manipulative, abusive, and downright weird.

McIntyre has since shared screenshots of private chat logs where Ballinger had asked the then-underage teen questions like, “Are you a virgin?” and requested sexually suggestive photos. There was also the incident where she sent him lingerie, and after he went public with his story, he faced a backlash from other fans as brutal as it was swift. However, three years later, more people were coming forward with stories like McIntyre’s and were providing screenshots to back up the claims.

And those stories weren’t just about Ballinger, they were about members of her team, too — including her ex-husband, her brother, and her best friend. Inappropriate texts and messages were just the beginning, with accusations of harassment, bullying, fat-shaming, and — as more people came forward — instances of racism (including her regular use of racially insensitive jokes and refusing to cast people of color in any skits). Her so-called apology — which heavily featured a ukulele — didn’t go over well, either.

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