In a word:
This sums up the reaction of quite a few Selena Gomez fans around the world, all of whom agree that the brand new Saved by the Bell reboot just went way too far with a joke about the artist.
This reboot (which has been well-reviewed as a whole) hit streaming service Peacock last week — and almost immediately stirred up controversy via one scene in particular.
In this questionable scene from the series, a pairr of students at Bayside High are arguing about the identity of Gomez’s transplant donor.(Gomez has said it was close friend Francia Raísa.)
“I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom,” one character says, addding:
“God I wish that I had my phone so I could prove it.”
“Prove what? That you’re an idiot,” another student replied.
“It was Demi Lovato’s kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were.”
Then, in another scene, the words “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” appear to be scrawled on the walls in the school’s hallway.
Aside from not being especially funny, it’s just very odd that the show aired not one, but TWO references to Selena’s 2017 kidney transplant procedure.
She needed due to her Lupus diagnosis… and it saved her life.
This was a very serious surgery that Saved by the Bell decided to mock.
As a result, the hashtag #RespectSelenaGomez trended on Twitter as fans expressed their outrage over the quips.
“It’s so f***ing rude and insensitive to make fun of someone’s illness just for clout,” one fan wrote.
“This affects a lot of people not just Selena who is either fighting this illness or lost people to it. The people making fun of her struggle make me disgusted.”
Added a second viewer:
This is a HUGE lack of respect, not only with Selena but with all the people who are or who have been through the same things as her.
“This matter should be brought up in a respectful manner and not in such a low and dirty.”
Aware of the backlash over its lame jokes, Peacock, NBCUniversal and the program’s executive producers issued the following statement over the weekend:
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.
Gomez initially revealed that she had received a kidney transplant from actress Raísa in September of 2017… after being open about her battle with lupus for many years.
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raísa,” Gomez said back then as a caption to the image below.
“She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me.
“I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
A month or so later, Gomez spoke to Today about the severity of her situation.
“My kidneys were just done,” she said in October 2017.
“That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life. The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it.
“And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real.”
Raisa, meanwhile, also addressed this unfortunate situation on social media.
“Some of the cast and producers have reached out to me personally to apologize for this and I truly appreciate that,” the actress captioned her Instagram Story.
“But I do want to acknowledge that this public apology from the network should acknowledge the donors that could have been offended by this.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about acknowledging the great role that donors play @nbc @peacocktv #savedbythebell.”
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