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Selena Gomez Didn’t Need an Apology Over an Insensitive Joke

Last Updated December 3, 2020 8:00 PM
Bernadette Giacomazzo
Last Updated December 3, 2020 8:00 PM
  • The “Saved By The Bell” reboot told a joke about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.
  • It was insensitive, to be sure, but it wasn’t overly offensive.
  • The show ended up apologizing after an outcry from fans — but was it even necessary?

Selena Gomez got an apology.

After the reboot of “Saved By The Bell” told a joke about her kidney transplant caused a huge outcry from fans, the show issued a mea culpa.

Was the joke insensitive? Sure. Did it merit an apology from the show? Not really.

Selena Gomez Wasn’t Really Attacked In The Joke

“Saved By The Bell” has been rebooted by Peacock, the premium subscription service for NBC. And, just as in the original show, corny jokes and topical pop culture references are the punchlines to various laughs.

In one scene of the show, two characters get their phones taken away, and they end up arguing about various pop culture references. One of the references involved Selena Gomez and her donated kidney — namely, “who gave Selena their kidney?”

One character speculated that it was Justin Bieber’s mom who gave Gomez a kidney. Another speculated that Demi Lovato was the donor. (The actual donor was Gomez’s best friend, Francia Raisa.) There was even a piece of graffiti that said, “does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”

You can see the joke in the video below.


It Was Insensitive — But It Wasn’t That Bad

To be fair, the joke was insensitive. (And corny, in my opinion — then again, I’m not the target audience.)

But it wasn’t that bad. Certainly, there are plenty of other jokes told by men that are far less funny than these cornballs. And it’s not where you say they wished actual harm on Selena Gomez.

That didn’t stop her most devoted fans from bleeding all over Twitter about it, however.

Selena Gomez
Yes, let’s completely rewrite an entire show because of a corny joke they told. Makes sense. | Source: Twitter 
Selena Gomez
Gen Z doesn’t know their history if they’re acting like “Saved By The Bell” is this new show that had never been done before. | Source: Twitter 
Selena Gomez
Someone please stop the bleeding. | Source: Twitter 

Peacock issued a statement apologizing for the joke , and promising to donate to Selena Gomez’s charity as a mea culpa.

To be frank, however, this whole outcry is far from necessary. The joke was meant to be at the character’s expense — to show that they were stupid and disconnected from reality when they no longer had their phones — not that “Selena Gomez is a terrible person because she had a kidney transplant.” She was a touchpoint in the story, not the story itself.

There are plenty of comedians who deserve to be canceled for a variety of terrible reasons. But this outcry against “Saved By The Bell” is yet another example of cancel culture gone wrong.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com