Here’s a bell that NBC may not be able to unlock: The network apologizes for an episode of the “Saved By The Bell” reboot, mocking Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.
The sixth episode of the first season of the series, which arrived entirely on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service on Wednesday, made numerous references to Gomez’s life-saving operation in 2017 for lupus-related organ damage, which caused great outrage among the singer’s fans. online.
“We apologize. We never intended to shed light on Selena̵
In one scene, two actors in a dispute dispute the identity of Gomez’s kidney donor after the fictional Bayside High cut students off from the Internet by confiscating their mobile phones.
“I know for sure that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mother. “God, I want to have my phone so I can prove it,” said a high school student. The other responds: “Prove what? That you are an idiot? It was Demi Lovato’s kidney.
Another scene from the same episode involves two cast members speaking in front of a graffiti wall that reads, “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”
The jokes struck many fans as deeply insensitive. Gomez became seriously ill due to complications from lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. According to the American Lupus Foundation, the disease affects more than 1.5 million people in the United States
Two years after she was diagnosed, Gomez announced that she had undergone a kidney transplant with an organ from her friend, actor Francia Raisa. After the transplant, the “Rare” singer experienced urgent complications, which led to a second operation to build a new artery to support the kidneys, which were not functioning properly.
Gomez did not pay attention to the controversy “Saved By The Bell”. However, Raisa expressed disappointment in a post on the social network.
“Some of the cast and producers turned to me personally to apologize for it, and I really appreciate it,” Raisa wrote on Instagram on Saturday. “But I want to acknowledge that this public apology from the network must acknowledge donors who might be offended by this.”
“It’s not about me,” she continued, “but about acknowledging the great role that donors play.”
In a statement on Twitter the same day, Raisa spoke directly to organ donors like herself, who may be concerned about the show’s attitude toward their experience.
“As a kidney donor, I want to show love and let other donors know that you are not alone,” the actor tweeted. “They saw you. You are appreciated. You are so brave and your selfless act is very precious and valuable! “
The tweet quickly went viral, with many legions of Gomez supporters joining their own accounts as “Respect Selena Gomez” began on Twitter.
In September, Gomez proudly showed off one of his kidney transplant scars after hiding a photo of him shaking a one-piece swimsuit for years.
“When my kidneys were transplanted, I remember that in the beginning it was very difficult to show my scar. I didn’t want him to be in pictures, so I wore things that would cover him up, “she wrote in the caption. “Now more than ever, I feel confident about who I am and what I’ve been through … and I’m proud of it.”
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