On Saturday, scores of Twitter users expressed their disappointment in the Peacock series and tweeted out the phrase “RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ” to show their support for the “Lose You To Love Me” singer.
“Making fun about someone’s disease will never be funny. Respect Selena Gomez,” one Twitter user said on the issue.
The episode in question features a couple of Bayside High besties gossiping about the latest in pop culture. However, after students’ phones are taken away, the two girls have no way of checking their sources when it comes to knowing who gave Gomez her much-needed kidney back in 2017 to treat her Lupus. While the real-life donor was Gomez’s friend and actress Francia Raisa, Saved By The Bell‘s characters bickered that it was either the mother of ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber or fellow musician and Disney channel alum Demi Lovato.
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To take the joke even further, a Bayside High hallway wall seems to read “Does Selena Gomez Even Have A Kidney” in black graffiti.
While the joke was meant to showcase the importance of technology in the students’ personal lives, it didn’t seem to land well among the singer’s fans. As a result of the backlash following the series’ Thanksgiving premiere, Peacock has issued an apology and a donation for the singer’s Lupus research fund.
“We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health,” NBC’s streaming platform shared in a statement. “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.”
See the social media reactions below.
making fun about someone’s disease will never be funny. respect selena gomez.
— 2000s (@PopCulture2000s) November 28, 2020
RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ We love you and we will not allow anyone, no matter what, to make fun of you🥺🥺 pic.twitter.com/inmNYTAXS2
— 𝐴𝑟𝑙𝑎♀ (@8rxel) November 28, 2020
a tv show called “saved by the bell” has “does selena gomez even have a kidney?” written on the wall. this is so disgusting and unnecessary. selena doesn’t deserve this.
RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ pic.twitter.com/u7IcPX8NqV
— ً (@jndoIIs) November 28, 2020
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