A recent episode of NBC’s Saved By The Bell reboot jokes about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant, which they have now omitted and apologized for.
After jokes regarding Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant operation were made on the new Saved By The Bell reboot series, streaming service Peacock has now had them edited out of the episode. This comes after the comments were flagged and widely criticized by Gomez’s fanbase during the episode’s airing over Thanksgiving this past weekend. Gomez went through the operation in 2017 due to complications with the autoimmune disease Lupus.
The reboot series, which premiered on NBC streaming service Peacock last month, is a sequel to the original hit 1990’s high school comedy as well as its subsequent spin-off, Saved By The Bell: The College Years. Despite Gomez not having any relation to the show, in season 1, episode 6 of the reboot, titled “Teen-Line,” multiple jokes were made regarding Gomez and the news around her transplant, for which NBC has since apologized. In one scene, two female students are seen arguing over who donated Gomez her new kidney, and in another, while two students are seen embracing in a trashed hallway, graffiti that reads, “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” is displayed on a wall in the background.
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Via Uproxx, it has been reported that NBC’s Peacock have edited out the jokes from the Saved By The Bell episode surrounding Selena Gomez and her kidney transplant. While Gomez has not commented on the situation herself, fan tweets and appeals to NBC led to the network apologizing for the comments earlier this week, stating that “It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health“, and that a donation in their name will be made to the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC. As well speaking out as an emotional abuse victim, Gomez has been open about her health struggles over the years.
While it’s puzzling as to why Saved By The Bell would choose a health struggle to try and generate laughs, what’s even stranger is that Selena Gomez has no direct relation to the show. Seeing the two students in the episode argue that it was either Demi Lovato, friend of Gomez and former co Disney star, or her ex Justin Beiber’s Mum that were the organ donors does less to come off as a joke and more as a possibly triggering situation for Gomez, who has only recently braved showing off the resulting scar. Not only are the jokes not funny, but they seem to disrespect the star and others dealing with autoimmune diseases, especially after Gomez has been so candid about her struggles.
When showrunner Tracey Wigfield noted that this reboot was less focused on referencing the series past and more focused on new jokes, it’s a shame to think that this might be what she meant. With the jokes now edited out, it’s a wonder as to why they were even included in the first place. Despite the apology and re-edit of the streaming episodes being a step in the right direction, Saved By The Bell came under major fire for the Selena Gomez centric jokes over the weekend. With this being one of Peacock’s most popular original shows, the streaming service may find it difficult to bounce back from the controversy ignited just 6 episodes into this brand new reboot.
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