KEY POINTS

  • Scenes in episode 6 of the "Saved by the Bell" reboot appeared to mock Selena Gomez's kidney transplant
  • NBCUniversal and Peacock issued an apology for the episode after receiving intense backlash 
  • NBCUniversal and its streaming service said they will donate to the singer's lupus charity

NBCUniversal and streaming platform Peacock apologized to Selena Gomez after receiving intense backlash for a "Saved by the Bell" episode that referenced the singer's kidney transplant.

Gomez's fans were not happy after several scenes in the new "Saved by the Bell" reboot seemingly mocked the "Rare" singer's 2017 kidney transplant. After the controversy became a trending topic on Twitter Saturday, NBCUniversal and Peacock issued an apology and promised to donate to Gomez's lupus charity.

"We apologize. 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," NBCUniversal and its streaming service Peacock said in a statement to Variety.

Variety reached out to Gomez's representatives for comment but did not receive a response.

A scene in episode 6 of the "Saved by the Bell" reboot, titled "Teen-Line," featured two Bayside High students, who are not main cast members, speculating about Gomez's transplant donor.

"I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom. God, I wish that I had my phone so that I could prove it," one student said.

"Prove what?" the other replied. "That you’re an idiot? It was Demi Lovato’s kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were."

In another scene from the same episode, one of the school walls had a message written in black graffiti that read: "Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?"

Fans immediately responded to the apology, with some questioning the statement and pointing out that the scenes appeared to have been intentionally written to mock Gomez.

One user shared, "Selena has been through so much in her life, with [sic] kidney transplant, constant battle with lupus, and her struggle with bipolar disorder. It makes me sick how some people think it's funny to joke about a disease."

"How was it never your intention when y’all deada-- wrote 'does selena gomez even have a kidney?' on a wall," another commented.

"@peacockTV I’d like to know how such comments concerning any transplant patient or disease made it from idea, to writers, directors, actors, producers, and network without ANYONE pointing out how disgusting the entire idea was from the beginning? #cancelSBTB #PeacockFAIL," a third user wrote.

The "Kill Em With Kindness" singer previously revealed that her kidney donor was her friend, "Grown-ish" actress Francia Raisa.

Raise also responded to the apology, tweeting, "Appreciate the apology but let’s not forget about the donors that potentially felt offended and dismissed from the spray paint written on the wall."

Back in 2017, Gomez shared a photo of her and Raisa on hospital beds on Instagram following the kidney transplant surgery and wrote a heartfelt message for her friend and her doctors.

"There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa," Gomez wrote. "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis."

Selena Gomez CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 15: Selena Gomez attends the photocall for "The Dead Don't Die" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) Photo: Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images