Selena Gomez’s kidney donor Francia Raisa reveals Saved By The Bell producers apologized to her over transplant joke
Selena Gomez‘s fans were up in arms on social media after the newly rebooted Saved By The Bell featured a joke about her 2017 kidney transplant.
And her good friend Francia Raisa, who donated her kidney to her, shared her reaction to the joke on social media on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Grown-ish actress confirmed that producers from the high school comedy series had apologized to her for the joke, though she still worried it might be hurtful to other people who had donated organs or received them.
Making amends: Francia Raisa, 32, confirmed on Saturday that producers of the Saved By The Bell reboot apologized for a joke about her kidney donation to Selena Gomez; seen in February
‘Some of the cast and producers have reached out to me personally to apologize for this and I truly appreciate that,’ she wrote in her Instagram stories.
‘But I do want to acknowledge that this public apology from the network should acknowledge the donors that could have been offended by this. It’s not about me, it’s about acknowledging the great role that donors play,’ she added, while tagging NBC and its streaming service Peacock.
She also confirmed that she had received the apology on Twitter the same day.
‘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 wrote.
First step: Francia said she appreciated the apology from the producers
More to consider: Still, the actress wished that they had apologized to other people who had donated organs and who might have been offended
Standing up for them: She also shared a tweet of encouragement for her fellow donors. ‘You are so brave and your selfless act is very much appreciated and valued!’
The actress also showed her support for other donors with words of encouragement in a follow-up tweet.
‘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 valued!’
In the sixth episode of the new Saved By The Bell series, two minor characters argue over Selena’s transplant.
‘I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom,’ one states. ‘God I wish that I had my phone so I could prove it.’
The other character replies, ‘Prove what? That you’re an idiot. It was Demi Lovato’s kidney. They’re best friends… like you and I were.’
Later in the episode, two main characters are seen standing in front of a wall with ‘Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?’ painted on it.
Having a laugh: In the new Saved By The Bell series, two minor characters argue over Selena’s transplant and whether the kidney came from ‘Justin Bieber’s mom’ or ‘Demi Lovato’
Unmissable: Later in the episode, two main characters are seen standing in front of a wall with ‘Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?’ painted on it
The offending jokes led a swarm of Selena’s fans to denounce the series on social media, and the executive producers of the show joined UTV and Peacock in issuing an apology statement.
‘We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health,’ it read. ‘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.’
So far, Selena has avoided commenting on the jokes.
Good friends: Selena suffers from Lupus, and in 2017 she required a kidney transplant. Her friend Francia came to her rescue and donated one of hers
The Spring Breakers star suffers from Lupus, and in 2017 she required a kidney transplant.
Selena later shared a photo of herself and Francia in hospital beds after the Grown-ish star donated a kidney.
‘There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,’ she wrote at the time. ‘She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.’
Grateful: ‘There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,’ she wrote at the time. ‘She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me’; seen in February