Clips from the episode were shared on social media by fans who were largely appalled that the show would make light of her kidney transplant. Users quickly got “Respect Selena Gomez” trending on Twitter over the weekend.
Now, according to People, the scenes in question have been removed from the episode on the Peacock streaming service.
The first season’s sixth episode sees a pair of Bayside High students debating who donated a kidney to Gomez, 28. The duo argues in the hallway of the school and cannot agree on whether Justin Bieber’s mother or Demi Lovato donated their kidney, and express their anger about not having their phones to prove their claims.
Both suggestions are false rumors. Gomez received a donated kidney from her friend Francia Raisa, 32, who is an actress. The famous gal pals underwent kidney transplant surgery in 2017 to save Gomez from life-threatening complications with lupus – an inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, according to Mayo Clinic.
“Saved by the Bell” continued its joke at Gomez’s expense later in the episode with a graffiti on the school wall that read, “Does Selena Gomez even have kidneys?”
Representatives for NBCUniversal did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
However, the company issued an apology statement to Variety prior to the episode being edited and pledged to donate to Gomez’s charity.
“We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health,” the statement says. “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.”
Gomez has not publicly commented on the episode. Raisa issued a tweet thanking the network for its apology but still lamented the damage done by the harmful jokes in the episode.
“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 tweeted on Saturday.