02/21/2012 11:58 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Nicki Minaj: When Is It Okay To Lie?

What do you say to someone after you just watched them perform -- and you thought their time on stage was a total train wreck? If you’re one TMZ camerman talking to Nicki Minaj, you go for a little white lie -- or two. In this clip, the cameraman first tells the singer: “You had a great Grammy performance Ms. Minaj,” and then, “Nicki, your Grammy performance was great,” -- before the footage cuts to a particular cringe-inducing part of the show where Minaj was off-pitch, a fact magnified by unfortunately-timed choreography calling for a fellow dancer to cover his ears in horror.

Lying to spare someone’s feelings is very common; a 2010 poll commissioned by the Science Museum of London of 3,000 people found that a full 75 percent of participants felt lying was acceptable to spare someone’s feelings.

But how do you walk the line between lying to spare a friend embarrassment in the short-term and doing them further harm by encouraging bad (or, in Minaj’s case, just plain embarrassing) behavior in the future? In what situations is it acceptable to lie?

WATCH: TMZ Camerman Lies To Nicki Minaj

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player