Selena Gomez is done with snarky references to her kidney transplant, regardless of their intention.
The actor and singer on Tuesday condemned “tasteless jokes” about her 2017 procedure in a strongly worded tweet.
“I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” she wrote, adding that she hoped writers who proposed such material in the future would be “called out immediately.”
Gomez was responding to a recent episode of the Paramount+ series “The Good Fight,” which included a mention of her kidney transplant in a broader discussion about “cancel culture.”
The scene in question showed characters Jay (played by Nyambi Nyambi) and Jim (Ifádansi Rashad) brainstorming comedy ideas for a television executive (Wayne Brady).
After Jay wonders aloud which topics would be considered taboo, Jim responds, “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.”
Gomez fans, or “Selenators,” expressed their distaste for the scene on social media this week, causing the phrase “RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ” to trend on Twitter late Monday and early Tuesday.
“This woman deserves all the love and happiness, it’s so sad how people use a hurtful moment for her just for nasty jokes, put some respect on her name,” one person wrote. Another wondered: “How miserable do you have to be to take someone’s trauma/illness/struggles and use them for jokes, like just be a decent human being.”
On Tuesday, Gomez thanked her fans in a follow-up tweet, and encouraged them to register as organ donors.
When contacted by HuffPost on Tuesday, representatives for “The Good Fight” did not comment on the matter.
Gomez, who turned 29 last month, underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. At the time, she said the transplant was “what I needed to do for my overall health” as a result of having lupus, an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to many organs.
“The Good Fight” is the second major series to catch heat for alluding to Gomez’s transplant. A 2020 episode of Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” revival received heavy criticism for a scene in which in which two characters argue over who donated their kidney to Gomez, with Demi Lovato and “Justin Bieber’s mom” among the suggested donors.
Days later, NBC representatives issued a formal apology and removed the scene from the episode on the streaming platform.
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