Following the passionate outcry from her fans, Selena Gomez has spoken out against a “tasteless” reference to her kidney transplant on “The Good Fight.”
The controversial reference was made during the fourth episode of the fifth season now airing on Paramount+. A comedy television executive (Wayne Brady) asks Liz (Audra McDonald) to compile a “sensitivity read” for one of his comedian clients.
As the scene continues, Jay (Nyambi Nyambi) asks his co-workers, Marissa (Sarah Steele) and Jim (Ifadansi Rashad), what topics would be off limits. The group rattles off a variety of topics, such as necrophilia and autism — but the character Jim’s response “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant” is what triggered some fans and viewers on Monday.
Gomez wrote on Twitter and her Instagram Stories on Tuesday, “I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently. I hope in the next writer’s room when one of these tasteless jokes are presented it’s called out immediately and doesn’t make it on air.”
In 2017, the Rare Beauty founder first revealed she received a high-profile kidney transplant from her friend Francia Raisa, to combat her lupus.
“The Good Fight” backlash spurred fans of the singer onto Twitter to express their distaste with the joke, while launching a campaign to make #RespectSelenaGomez trend.
Gomez also replied to her initial tweet, “My fans always have my back. LOVE YOU,” and provided a link to sign up to be an organ donor.
However, for the former Disney star, this situation is something to which she’s grown accustomed: In 2020, Peacock’s “Saved By the Bell” revival featured the teen characters discussing the star’s organ transplant, another scene included a graffiti message that read, “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”
Immediately following the public’s backlash, Peacock and their parent company, NBCUniversal issued an apology and made a donation to the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC.