Pop singer and actress Selena Gomez fired back at Paramout+ show “The Good Fight” Tuesday after the legal drama made a joke about a kidney transplant operation she underwent back in 2017.
Some context: “The Good Fight,” a spin-off of the hit CBS show “The Good Wife,” showed several characters brainstorming joke ideas for a comedy television executive played by Wayne Brady. Brady asks Liz (Audra McDonald) to put together something for one of his characters and the scene then unfolds with Marissa (Sarah Steele), Jim (Ifadansi Rashad) and Jay (Nyambi Nyambi) tossing out ideas.
In some weird attempt for the show to address cancel culture, Jay begins to ask what comedy topics should be off-limits, which leads people to list off answers including necrophilia, autism and “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.”
“I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” Gomez tweeted Tuesday evening. “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 added in a follow-up tweet, “My fans always have my back. LOVE YOU. If you are able to please sign up to be an organ donor,” and linked to the national Health Resources and Services Administration’s website, which links to each state’s organ donor registry website.
If you’re a reader in California and not already registered as an organ donor but want to be, here’s a handy link to sign up via the Donate to Life website.
The former “Wizards of Waverly Place” star’s health troubles candidly opened up about the need for her kidney transplant in September 2017 at just 24 years old. It’s unclear exactly when Gomez found out she had Lupus — reports bill that discovery as occurring around 2015 — but nonetheless, it’s fair to assume that diagnosis turned her life and relationship to her health upside down.
It was actually Gomez’ friend who donated her kidney to the pop star four years ago — she shouted out Francia Raisa in an Instagram post at the time that showed the two of them holding hands in adjacent hospital beds and said, “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. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made.”
The Selenators, as Gomez calls her fans, were quick to have her back on social media after people started realizing what “The Good Fight” joked about and demanded people “respect Selena Gomez.”
“As an organ transplant patient, I can say it is no laughing matter. It is a long stressful experience that leaves both the transplanted and their family with tremendous stress,” one fan noted on Twitter.
This actually isn’t the first time a mainstream TV show has made a joke about Gomez’ life-saving operation. Last November NBC Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” reboot was shamed after it took a similar swing at her health. In the show’s sixth episode a character said, “I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom” and another joked that the kidney came from fellow pop sensation Demi Lovato. Peacock and NBCUniversal responded to the backlash by promising to make a donation to Gomez’s charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC.
Check out a few more reactions below.