Peacock, the NBC streaming platform behind the rebooted series of Saved by the Bell, has apologised for using Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant as the basis for a number of gags.
According to The Wrap, a spokesperson for the broadcaster explained that it was “never our intention to make light” of the ‘Ice Cream’ singer’s health, having been criticised on social media recently.
The spokesperson also added revealed that the network has been in touch with Gomez’s team and will be making a donation to her charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC.
During the episode in question, the teenage students at Bayside High School have their phones confiscated and in their boredom, they start wondering aloud about all sorts of pop culture subjects.
In one scene, two characters argue in the hallway about who donated a kidney to Gomez back in 2017, two years after she revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease.
One says they’re convinced that it was the mother of her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, while the other claims it was her former best friend, Demi Lovato. (In reality, it was her friend Francia Raisa).
Later on, a piece of graffiti can be glimpsed, reading: “Does Selena Gomez even have kidneys?”
Raisa herself has responded following Peacock’s statement.
“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,” she wrote on Twitter.
“As a kidney donor I want to show love and let other donors know that you are not alone,” Francia added. “You are seen. You are appreciated. You are so brave and your selfless act is very much appreciated and valued!”