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NBC apologizes after ‘Saved by the Bell’ reboot jokes about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant

NBC’s recent reboot to ‘Saved by the Bell’ threw out a joke about Selena Gomez that did not go over well

Selena Gomez arrives at WE Day California on April 19, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif. Gomez is taking the heat in the kitchen. The singer-actress slices and dices in “Selena + Chef,” debuting Aug. 13 on the new HBO Max streaming service.
Selena Gomez arrives at WE Day California on April 19, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif.
Richard Shotwell, Invision, Associated Press

NBC Universal issued an apology after one of its newest shows included a joke about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.

What’s going on?

Peacock’s ”Saved by the Bell” reboot made a joke about Gomez’s health issues during its sixth episode, which sent social media spinning.

  • In the 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.”
  • In another scene, there’s graffiti on the wall that reads, “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”

Social media had a backlash to the scene, according to CNN. Selena Gomez’s fans rushed to her defense over the two jokes that poked fun at her medical condition.

“Respect Selena Gomez” was trending on social media as well, according to Variety.

An apology from NBC:

NBC issued an apology about the two jokes in a statement sent to CNN.

“We apologize,” NBC said in a statement. “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.”

NBC removed the jokes entirely from the show soon after, according to Variety.

Context:

In 2017, Selena Gomez’s best friend donated her kidney for an urgent surgery to save the singer’s life, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. Her friend Francia Raisa, who starred in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” donated the kidney after the singer needed an urgent transplant.

  • In Selena’s words: “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made.”