After they poked fun at Lauryn Hill‘s ongoing tax evasion case at last night’s BET Awards, prompting Beyonce to come to the trouble singer’s defense both onstage and behind the scenes, boy band Mindless Behavior called into 106 & Park Monday to apologize for their remarks, according to Rap-Up.
When comedian Mike Epps broke into song while presenting the Best R&B Artist award with the band, group member Ray-Ray quipped, “You sing bad… like Lauryn Hill’s tax accountant bad.” The comment led Beyonce, who won the award, to make it a point to mention Hill in her acceptance speech and, according to TMZ, remark to BET handlers that the joke was “disrespectful,” “not cool” and “wrong.”
Mindless Behavior has also been feeling the heat from elsewhere after the off-color comment, as the Twitterverse erupted with angry tweets. For example:
Mindless Behavior hasn’t sold enough records to make Lauryn Hill jokes. #BETAWARDS
— Titus Tucker(@TheTitusTucker) July 2, 2012
Eff a mindless behavior!! Don’t speak on Lauryn Hill!
— Cassidy Cannon (@Dear_Cassidy) July 2, 2012
In his call to 106, Ray Ray showed contrition and asked for forgiveness, saying that he respects Hill.
“I want to apologize about the Lauryn Hill joke,” he said. “I didn’t mean no harm by it. I hope everyone can forgive me. It was like a big thing on Twitter and everything, so I truly apologize. I respect Lauryn Hill and all of them like that.”
The group also issued an apology via their own Twitter account:
we meant no disrespect to our girl Lauryn Hill last night, it was a bad joke. we’re big fans and hope you’re not mad! #peace -MB
— Mindless Behavior (@MindlessBhavior) July 2, 2012
Hill has not responded publicly to the comment.
Hill recently pled guilty in a New Jersey court to three counts of tax evasion. She faces up to three years in prison and $75,000 in fines.