While most of the stunts and jokes at this year’s BET Awards were on the safe side of the taste continuum, tween pop group Mindless Behavior teetered on, if not crossed, the line with their crack about Lauryn Hill‘s tax woes. It was left to Beyonce to right the “mindless” remarks.
There were plenty of comedic moments at the BET Awards Sunday night. Samuel Jackson and Spike Lee performed a painfully hilarious remix of Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s “N****s In Paris,” called “Negroes in Paris.” Then there was the sketch, Real Husbands of Hollywood, which included on-fire comedian Kevin Hart. But when Mindless Behavior hit the stage to announce the award for best female R&B artist, along with comedian Mike Epps, the funny left the room.
In the bit, Epps sang poorly and Mindless Behavior member Ray Ray played along.
“You sing bad,” he said. “Like Lauryn Hill tax accountant bad.”
The remark was a reference to Hill’s recent IRS troubles. Hill pled guilty for not filing returns in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The former Fugees member now faces up to one year in prison and $100,000 fine for each count.
Beyonce, who rose to accept the award for best female R&B artist, offered a motherly smack down to the young singers.
“I wanted to thank all the talented R&B women who came before me like Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige,” she said. It was a clear reprimand and a moment of sisterly solidarity.
According to TMZ, when Beyonce left the stage, she told someone that the comment was “disrespectful” and after the woman complimented Beyonce for her acceptance speech, she responded: “I just felt [the diss] was wrong.”
Mindless Behavior took home the Viewer’s Choice Award. It is unclear if their remarks were written for the group or if it was off the cuff. Calls to Mindless Behavior’s representatives have not been returned. –-E. Parker, CBS Local