Selena Gomez Responds to 'Tasteless' Kidney Transplant Reference on 'The Good Fight'

"I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing," tweeted the actress, who had a kidney transplant in 2017.

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Selena Gomez has long been candid about the personal struggles she's grappled with over the years, notably her battle with lupus. The 29-year-old singer, who revealed in 2015 that she'd been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of the body, later had a kidney transplant in 2017 because of the chronic illness. And despite the gravitas of Gomez's situation, it has become a plot point in some aspects of pop culture.

This week, Gomez took to Twitter to call out the Paramount+ series, The Good Fight, which appeared to reference the former Disney star's kidney transplant in a recent episode. The episode in question, according to Variety, featured the show's characters deliberating joke ideas for TV, as well as the sensitive subject matter. One character notes how comedians "need a permission to tell a joke" in today's climate while deciding that "Selena Gomez's kidney transplant," necrophilia, and autism are topics that should not be touched.

Gomez addressed the series on Tuesday, tweeting: "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."

Gomez received a kidney donation from her best friend and fellow actress, Francia Raisa, in 2017. At the time, Gomez briefly detailed the procedure in an Instagram post, which featured the friends in their hospital beds holding hands. "There aren't words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed," shared Gomez. (Related: Selena Gomez Shares How She's Embracing Her Post-Transplant Scars)

Raisa, who previously appeared in The Secret Life of the American Teenager TV series, also went to bat for Gomez last fall, when the Saved by the Bell reboot made insensitive jokes about her Gomez's kidney transplant. Amid the social media backlash, Peacock, the streaming service home to the series, released a public apology in November 2020. "It was never our intention to make light of Selena's health," said Peacock in a statement, according to Deadline. "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." The controversial scenes were also removed from the show, Deadline also confirmed at the time.

"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," tweeted Raisa in November 2020. In a follow-up message, Raisa added: "As a kidney donor I want to show love and let other donors know that you are not alone. You are seen. You are appreciated. You are so brave and your selfless act is very much appreciated and value!"

As for The Good Fight, a source close to the network told Shape on Wednesday, "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."

Gomez, however, is grateful for her fans that "always" have her back, as she continues to pull back the curtain on the physical and emotional challenges she has overcome throughout the years.

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