Will Selena Gomez sue NBC's Peacock? Streaming site apologizes after ridiculing singer's kidney transplant
Fans of Selena Gomez are angry over the jokes made about the pop star's kidney transplant on an episode of the 'Saved By the Bell' reboot. On the sitcom, which streams on NBC's Peacock platform, one scene from episode six features two students speculating about the identity of the donor for Selena's kidney transplant. Selena had earlier issued a public statement saying she had received a transplant from her close friend, actor Francia Raísa.
In the 'Saved By the Bell' scene, a student says, "I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom. God, I wish that I had my phone so that I could prove it," while another student replies saying, "Prove what? That you’re an idiot? It was Demi Lovato's kidney. They’re best friends like you and I were." In a separate scene, there appears to be graffiti on a wall that reads, "Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?" The synopsis of episode six is that the Bayside High students have had their phones taken away, and therefore do not have an immediate source to confirm the validity of their discussions concerning pop culture.
Following the backlash, the show received on Twitter and other social media platforms, Peacock, NBCUniversal, and the show’s executive producers apologized for the references in a statement to Variety. They said, "We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health. We have been in touch with her team and will be making a donation to her charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC." Selena or her team are yet to respond to the controversy.
The full clip from the episode can be seen in the tweet below which reads, "I wonder what was going through their minds when they wrote this, did they actually think this was funny? Respect Selena Gomez."
i wonder what was going through they minds when they wrote this, did they actually think this was funny?? respect selena gomez. pic.twitter.com/wpMG2kM5zd— ًemery (@btchlena) November 28, 2020
'Saved by the Bell' was originally broadcast from 1989 to 1993 and followed a group of high school friends and their principal occasionally touching on social issues like drug use, driving under the influence, homelessness, remarriage, death, women's rights and the environment. It starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies, Dennis Haskins, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez. The 2020 'Saved by the Bell' premiered on November 25 with most of the main actors from the original, except for Dustin Diamond and Dennis Haskins, reprising their roles. It also stars Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Belmont Cameli, Dexter Darden and John Michael Higgins.