Peacock, NBC Universal, and executive producers of the "Save by the Bell" reboot shared their apologies after fans took offence to an episode that made fun of Selena Gomez's kidney transplant.
The hashtag #RespectSelenaGomez trended on social media shortly after and fans demanded an apology after Episode 6 highlighted the singer's battle with lupus. Fans may remember that the "Rare" hitmaker underwent a kidney transplant to treat the disease. She has the scars to prove it and it is public knowledge that her friend Francia Raísa was her donor.
However, the episode in question in the "Saved by the Bell" reboot made the identity of the donor a mystery. One scene showed graffiti on a wall that read, "Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?" Meanwhile, another scene showed a couple of Bayside High students, who were not part of the main cast, trying to guess who the donor was.
"I know for a fact that Selena Gomez's kidney donor was Justin Bieber's mum. God, I wish that I had my phone so I could prove it," one student said, and the other replied, "Prove what? That you're an idiot?" The other student said for sure it was Demi Lovato who donated her kidney because they are best friends.
Fans took offence to the insensitive joke. One tweeted that the "Saved by the Bell" reboot should be ashamed for making fun of one's illness. It is not only offensive to Gomez but to others who share her sickness.
"You should be ashamed to air a show where a person is mocked for their serious illness. It is not only offensive to Selena Gomez, but to all those who have had to go through a process as difficult as that," the fan tweeted.
In response, NBC Universal, Peacock and the show's executive producers sent their apology. They admitted that it was never their intention to make light of the singer's health. They also said they will be making a donation to make amends.
"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," reads the statement sent to Variety.
Gomez has yet to respond to the insensitive jokes. The "Saved by the Bell" reboot premiered on Wednesday, Nov. 25.