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JoJo Siwa's Recent Comments About Her Friendship With Colleen Ballinger Are Leaving Many Fans "Sad" And "Disappointed"

This story contains discussion of grooming and inappropriate conduct.

Colleen Ballinger, the YouTuber best known for her internet persona Miranda Sings, has been at the center of controversy this summer as more of her alleged behavior with former fans, friends, and employees came to light a few months ago. Several former fans came forward in June, accusing Colleen of inappropriate behavior with one fan claiming that she "groomed" them as teenagers.

Closeup of Colleen Ballinger

As these allegations came out, many people were quick to remember a video, posted in 2016, where Colleen collabed with JoJo Siwa, who was 13 years old at the time. Over the years, they've become friends and collaborated on several more videos together.

Colleen and JoJo in a video

Now, JoJo, who is 20 years old, is speaking publicly about her friendship with Colleen for the first time since the recent allegations surfaced.

Closeup of Colleen and JoJo
Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic

On Tuesday's episode of the Howie Mandel Does Stuff podcast, Howie asked JoJo if she was still friends with Colleen. JoJo responded, saying, "Yeah, I've known Colleen since I was 12. ... She's always been nothing but kind to me; her family [has been] nothing but kind to me."

Closeup of JoJo Siwa

"This is the first time I've spoken about this, so I just want to make sure I say my exact piece that I want to say. The internet can take a lie and run so far with it, so far it's to the point where you just can't do anything about it," she continued.

Closeup of JoJo Siwa
Jerod Harris / Getty Images

"I've had that happen to me, and I know Colleen very, very, very well, and I think that the work Colleen has done for the internet is incredible. I think her creativity is incredible."

Closeup of Colleen and JoJo Siwa
Jerritt Clark / Getty Images

"Miranda Sings is a character, is a comedian. And I think that it's very hard to be a character where people are also looking at you as you're a real human behind that character. And I think being a comedian is very hard because you were able to do things years ago that were okay. And now that we've grown and we've matured, we've realized that they're not okay."

Colleen as Miranda Sings
Leon Bennett / Getty Images

Howie then cut in and asked JoJo what it was like to be Colleen's friend after reading the allegations against her and if she thinks they're "all a lie." JoJo replied, saying, "There have been a lot of people on the internet who have gotten hit with this cancelation, and a lot of them I know. Some of them I don't know. And I look at it, and I see that this is a sensitive subject. Somebody who is affected by any sort of anything having to do with adults. And I mean, for real grooming, it's a very sensitive thing."

Closeup of JoJo Siwa

"The difference with Colleen and I...I became her friend. She became my friend, and she became somebody that I looked up to. She became somebody I idolized. She became somebody that I was like, 'Wow this person is a hard worker, she is a genius, she's a very strong YouTuber,' and I idolized that."

Closeup of JoJo Siwa and Miranda Sings

"Throughout our friendship, we've probably filmed 100 videos together, and she's cool. You know? I think the problem is the internet was able to capitalize off of her cancelation, and they still are, and they still are continuing to, and it's not okay because a lot of it is based off of lies."

Miranda Sings and JoJo Siwa in a video

Adam McIntyre, who first raised accusations of Colleen being inappropriate, notably responded with his thoughts shortly after the podcast episode was posted.

Twitter: @theadammcintyre

And a lot of other fans are just as disappointed in JoJo's response and have spoken out about it on Twitter and in the comments section of the podcast episode:

Twitter: @itsbrittrenae

"Calling these VICTIMS liars is disgusting Jojo."
There is proof of the many many things Colleen did. It's not just one lie."

Twitter: @_ruva_official

While many have also claimed that her friendship with Colleen is just as inappropriate, even if she may not realize it.

"I feel for Jojo. She was forced to be a grown-up too early."
"So...I love Jojo and I understand it's not her choices, but she shouldn't be supporting Colleen."
"What is really upsetting me is that Jojo is genuine and sweet but she's just been surrounded by such bad people her whole life and she really can't see the difference between a good person or a bad person"
"Jojo, you're still young. I hope some day you will understand how deeply inappropriate the things Colleen has done."
"This is so disappointing. I hoped JoJo would stand with victims and not protect someone who is harmful to children."

You can listen to their full conversation here, and you can read more about the allegations against Colleen here.

If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.