"I know for a fact that Selena Gomez's kidney donor was Justin Bieber's mom. God, I wish that I had my phone so that I could prove it,” one character says, while the other replies, “Prove what? That you’re an idiot? It was Demi Lovato's kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were."
In another scene, graffiti reading, "Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?" is seen on the wall.
"Saved by the Bell, that's disgusting. Selena almost lost her life, jokes about her kidney transplant is NOT FUNNY. Respect Selena Gomez," one Twitter user wrote.
Saved by the Bell, that's disgusting. Selena almost lost her life, jokes about her kidney transplant is NOT FUNNY. Respect Selena Gomez. pic.twitter.com/c8AZbsU1m0
Even more Selenators took to social media to defend Gomez, as well as note that making fun of someone's health is not funny.
"using what selena gomez went through for entertainment is blatantly insensitive and wrong. what she went through was real and it wasn't easy. it's so incredibly disgusting seeing it be used as a joke for entertainment. RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ," one fan tweeted.
using what selena gomez went through for entertainment is blatantly insensitive and wrong. what she went through was real and it wasn't easy. it's so incredibly disgusting seeing it be used as a joke for entertainment. RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ https://t.co/NTD9Jr8tUh
"Joking about someone’s disease is not funny whatsoever," another wrote. "It’s just so cruel and unjust. Selena doesn’t deserve that & no one else deserves that either."
"This was Selena’s last post before she went into surgery for her kidney transplant. she said goodbye to all & the world coz she didn't know if she'll survive & these people are out here making jokes about it for some clout," another fan captioned their photo, adding, "RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ."
Following the backlash, Peacock, NBC Universal and the show’s executive producers released a statement apologizing for the scene.
"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," said the statement given to ET on Saturday.
my parents just asked why “respect selena gomez” was trending, after i explained to them what had happened my dad had tears in his eyes. my grandma passed away due to lupus, and people making jokes on it made my dad feel awful. this is something that affects me a lot
Shortly after her transplant, Gomez opened up about the experience in an interview with the Today show.
"My kidneys were just done. That was it, and I didn't want to ask a single person in my life…That was the day I came home and I found out. And [Raisa] volunteered and did it," she said. "I guess I got to a point where it was really life or death."
"When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar," she captioned her September. "I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through...and I’m proud of that."