A recent episode of Paramount+’s The Good Fight included a mention about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant – and neither Selenators nor Selena herself are happy with the name drop.
During the episode, The Good Wife spinoff included a scene in which the characters are brainstorming “joke” ideas fit for TV. Then, one of the characters says that nowadays comedians “need a permission slip to tell a joke” and so, as noted by Variety, the group lands on necrophilia, autism, and “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant” as topics that are off-limits. After the show aired, many fans took to social media to call out the inappropriate nature of the joke, and Selena herself has now weighed in, calling the reference “tasteless.”
“I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” Selena wrote as a response on Twitter on August 3. “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.” The star later also added a note thanking the fans who stood up for her, writing, “My fans always have my back. LOVE YOU.” She rounded off the follow-up tweet with a link to sign up to become an organ donor.
As you might know, Selena underwent a kidney transplant back in 2017 to treat her lupus. Her friend and fellow actor Francia Raísa was her donor. “[Francia] gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis,” Selena wrote at the time about the operation. Since then, Selena has opened up about her transplant a handful of times, including how she used to feel ashamed of the scar it left on her thigh. She also has the date of the surgery tattooed on her arm as a lifelong memento.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Selena’s transplant has been used as “inspiration” for a tasteless joke, as Sel herself has called it. In later 2020, Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot also alluded to Selena’s kidney transplant in two instances, both in a manner that fans also deemed disrespectful. Back then, fans trended “RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ” as a response. Peacock later apologized for making light of Selena’s health. The network accompanied the apology with a donation to The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC. Later on, Francia also touched upon the issue. “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,” she said at the time.
Though Selena did not address the situation back then, it looks like her new tweets seem to refer to both instances. A source close to The Good Fight’s production team told Variety that the most recent reference was being taken out of context, saying, “If you watch the episode in full, the reference to Selena Gomez is part of a discussion the characters are having about topics that are not okay to make fun of and the idea of cancel culture and being canceled for telling a bad joke. The reference is that Selena Gomez’s transplant is not something you can joke about.”
Teen Vogue has reached out to Paramount+ for comment.
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