The “Saved by the Bell” reboot has removed controversial scenes referencing Selena Gomez’s 2017 kidney transplant amid mounting internet backlash, according to reports.
The series, which premiered last week on NBC’s streaming service Peacock, caught heat on social media over the weekend, as two students at the fictional Bayside High School debated the identity of Gomez’s kidney donor in an episode.
Another scene featured a graffiti message that read, “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”
Peacock, NBCUniversal, and the show’s executive producers issued an apology on Saturday.
“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,” they said in a statement to Variety.
Following the network’s public apology, actress Francia Raisa — who donated a kidney to Gomez amid the 28-year-old pop star’s battle with lupus — noted how other donors could have been offended by the show’s content.
“Some of the cast and producers have reached out to me personally to apologize for this and I truly appreciate that, 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 @nbc @peacock #savedbythebell,” Raisa shared on her Instagram story.
The 32-year-old actress also addressed the public statement on Twitter, writing: “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.”
On Saturday, Raisa also wrote an empowering message to donors.
“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!” she tweeted.
Reps at Peacock did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment.
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