The recently launched NBC streaming service entitled Peacock has released a statement apologizing for a scene in the sixth episode of the Saved by the Bell reboot, entitled, “Blind Dates,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Singer and actress Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place, Monte Carlo) had been diagnosed with lupus years ago and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. This event was alluded to in the Saved by the Bell reboot.
In the episode, the students of Bayside High School have their phones taken away, and with no access to the internet, a few students begin arguing about who donated a kidney to Gomez back in 2017. In another scene, the words “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” appear to be written on the school’s walls. The streamer and NBC Universal were immensely criticized over social media for their carelessness towards Gomez’s health. Fans eventually started the “Respect Selena Gomez” trend on Twitter on Saturday.
Saved by the Bell, that’s disgusting. Selena almost lost her life, jokes about her kidney transplant is NOT FUNNY. Respect Selena Gomez. pic.twitter.com/c8AZbsU1m0
— Selena Charts (@selenachartsbr) November 28, 2020
In response, Peacock, NBC Universal, and the executive producers of the show released a statement, “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,” via The Hollywood Reporter. In addition to their apology, the streamer and network have also reportedly donated to the singer’s charity.
Gomez initially opened up about her surgery and health troubles in an interview on Today, stating that she was diagnosed with lupus five years prior to her transplant. She revealed that her close friend Francia Raisa (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) had donated the kidney. The fellow actress spoke out about the incident via Twitter, stating she felt “offended and dismissed” after watching the scene.
Appreciate the apology but let’s not forget about the donors that potentially felt offended and dismissed from the spray paint written on the wall https://t.co/HIwa30PKMM
— Francia Raisa (@franciaraisa) November 28, 2020