Theo Wargo/Getty Images Selena Gomez
In one scene from the new series, two students at Bayside High are arguing about who Gomez’s transplant donor was. (Gomez has said it was close friend Francia Raísa)
“I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom,” one character says. “God I wish that I had my phone so I could prove it.”
“Prove what? That you’re an idiot,” the other student responds. “It was Demi Lovato’s kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were.”
— ⁷ (@TayIenaVoodoo) November 28, 2020
In another scene, the words “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” appear to be written on the walls in the school’s hallway.
"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," Peacock, NBCUniversal and the show's executive producers said in a statement, obtained by PEOPLE.
— B!tch (@fetishofsmg) November 28, 2020
In response, fans of the “Lose You to Love Me” singer got “RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ” to trend on Twitter.
“Wtf is wrong with this show and it’s obsession with selenas health??? this is so disgusting and unnecessary,” one fan wrote.
Others directly addressed Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service which houses Saved by the Bell.
.@peacockTV we demand an apology to @selenagomez for making fun of Selena’s health issues. 5M - 10M people die from kidney diseases every year. Serious health issues should never be a joke. Stop using Selena’s struggles for profit for your flop show. pic.twitter.com/qkeMRs2rDT
— Selena Gomez News (@musicfacts_sel) November 28, 2020
. @peacockTV You have no professional ethics. 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.
— Selena Gomez Votes. (@SGVoteSquad) November 28, 2020
“.@peacockTV we demand an apology to @selenagomez for making fun of Selena’s health issues,” a Twitter user, writing from a Selena Gomez fan account, said. “5M - 10M people die from kidney diseases every year. Serious health issues should never be a joke. Stop using Selena’s struggles for profit for your flop show.”
“Not only did they make fun of her kidneys but they also spread misinformation and defamation about Selena,” the fan continued in a second tweet. “This shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
“. @peacockTV You have no professional ethics,” another Twitter user added. “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.”
Selena Gomez Instagram
Gomez first revealed that she had received a kidney transplant from grown-ish actress Raísa in September 2017, after being open about her battle with lupus for several years.
Gomez shared a photo of the friends holding hands from their hospital beds as well as photos of her stomach following the surgery.
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raísa,” Gomez said. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
“My kidneys were just done,” she later explained in an interview on Today in October 2017. “That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life. The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real.”