Saved by the Bell is back thanks to a reboot on streaming service Peacock, but it has already sparked some controversy.
Selena Gomez fans have criticised the series for making jokes about the singer’s kidney transplant.
Curiously, the show has not one, but two jokes about Gomez’s health in its sixth episode. Written on the wall of a school hallway set are the words, “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”
In one scene, two characters can also be heard arguing over who the donor is.
“I know for a fact Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mum,” one character says. “It was Demi Lovato’s kidney,” the other retorts.
In reality, Gomez received a kidney transplant from actor Francia Raisa after she was diagnosed with lupus. The actor and singer also needed emergency surgery to build a new artery that broke during the procedure.
Fans were outraged by the show seemingly mocking Gomez’s illness. Over the weekend, the singer’s followers also organised to get “RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ” trending on Twitter in response to the show.
Peacock has since made an apology in a statement:
We apologise. 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.
Gomez has yet to respond, but Raisa took to social media to share her thoughts, writing that we should “not forget about the donors that potentially felt offended”.
It’s not a great first impression for this Saved by the Bell reboot.