Francia Raisa, who donated her kidney to Selena Gomez, speaks out on 'Saved by the Bell' jokes

Erin Donnelly
·2 min read
Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa in 2017, the year Raisa donated a kidney to her pop star pal. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa in 2017, the year Raisa donated a kidney to her pop star pal. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Peacock has issued an apology after Selena Gomez fans called out punchlines making light of the pop star’s kidney transplant in the new Saved by the Bell reboot. But Francia Raisa, the friend who donated her kidney to Gomez in 2017, says there’s more work to be done.

The actress took to social media on Saturday to address the controversy stemming from the sixth episode of the Peacock sitcom, in which characters questioned the origins of Gomez’s donated kidney, while “Does Selena Gomez even have kidneys?” appears in graffiti in another scene. Following complaints that Saved by the Bell had mocked Gomez and her health issues, which stem from her long battle with lupus, the streaming service apologized and made a donation to Gomez’s charity supporting lupus research.

“We apologize,” Peacock said in a statement. “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.”

While Gomez has not yet publicly commented on the matter, Raisa says she’s received apologies from some producers and cast members, whom she did not name. But while she says she appreciates their mea culpas, she expressed concern that other organ donors “could have been offended by this.”

“It’s not about me, it’s about acknowledging the great role that donors play,” she explained in an Instagram Stories post, tagging Peacock and parent network NBC.

Francia Raisa is reacting to the jokes about the kidney she donated to Selena Gomez. (Photo: Instagram Stories)
Francia Raisa is reacting to the jokes about the kidney she donated to Selena Gomez. (Photo: Instagram Stories)

Raisa also spoke out on Twitter, where she addressed the donors who might have felt “dismissed” by the episode.

“As a kidney donor I want to show love and let other donors know that you are not alone,” she wrote. “You are seen. You are appreciated. You are so brave and your selfless act is very much appreciated and valued!”

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: