Former Disney star Selena Gomez has talked publicly about her ongoing battle with lupus, which resulted in her needing a kidney transplant in 2017. Her diagnosis has forced her to deal with an onslaught of criticisms about her weight and rumors that she's pregnant as she battles the chronic illness.
But not everyone is sensitive to her diagnosis and medical history, and the "Rare" singer called out The Good Fight for a comment about her surgery she called "tasteless." What did they say on the show about her?
'The Good Fight' made a reference to Selena Gomez's 2017 kidney transplant.
In a recent episode of the Paramount Plus show, The Good Fight characters spent time workshopping jokes they plan to present to a TV exec. Jay, at one point, says comedians “need a permission slip to tell a joke," prompting them to talk about topics that are off-limits. This includes "necrophilia, autism, and Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant,” according to Variety.
Selena didn't take lightly to this reference and tweeted her displeasure for the take.
"I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently," she wrote. "I hope in the next writers room when one of these tasteless jokes are presented it’s called out immediately and doesn’t make it on air."
A source who reportedly works closely with the show later attempted to clarify the line to Variety, noting that it was not a jestful joke about her transplant.
“If you watch the episode in full, the reference to Selena Gomez is part of a discussion the characters are having about topics that are not okay to make fun of and the idea of cancel culture and being canceled for telling a bad joke," the source reportedly said. "The reference is that Selena Gomez’s transplant is not something you can joke about.”
'Saved by the Bell' also made a joke about Selena's kidney transplant that she called out.
This wasn't the first time a show has attempted to poke fun at Selena's emergency surgery. In November 2020, the Peacock reimagining of Saved by the Bell featured a scene where two characters argue over who donated a kidney to Selena. One character claims it was "Justin Bieber's mom," while another argued it was "Demi Lovato."
"Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?" can also be seen written in graffiti in the background of one episode.
It was Selena's friend Francia Raisa who donated her kidney.
“We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health,” NBC Universal said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “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.”
"Selena was really upset by the Saved by the Bell scene about her health and thought of it as bullying and offensive," a source close to Selena also told the outlet. "She felt as though her kidney transplant, and others who have gone through that, was used as a joke at her expense."