Once again, Selena Gomez fans are coming to the singer’s defense after a TV show decided to use her real-life health struggles as a punchline.
The Rare Beauty founder’s fanbase recently took to Twitter to call out an episode of The Good Fight, which referenced her health battle, specifically her kidney transplant.
According to reports from E! News, however, in defense of the series, a source close to the show says, “If you watch the episode in full, the reference to Gomez is part of a discussion the characters are having about topics that are not okay to make fun of and the idea of cancel culture and being cancelled for telling a bad joke. The reference is that her transplant is not something you can joke about.”
In season five, episode four, a comedy streaming executive Del (played by Wayne Brady) asks Liz (Audra McDonald) to conduct a sensitivity read on one of his comedians. This ultimately leads to a conversation on comedy and the idea of cancel culture, which is always a hot topic in today’s world of entertainment.
During a discussion between Marissa (Sarah Steele), Jay (Nyambi Nyambi) and Jim (Ifádansi Rashad), Jay says it feels like you now “need a permission slip to tell a joke.” As a result, Jim prints some joke permits, but he still wonders if there are any topics that are off limits.
“Um, necrophilia?” Jim replies.
“No, that could be funny,” Marissa responds.
“Autism,” Jay says.
“Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant,” Jim responds.
Thank you for blessing me. I am forever grateful to you. https://t.co/qW5Xm7GJpY— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) March 12, 2021
After some fans took issue with the scene and took their frustration online, several of the Disney alum’s supporters began tweeting “Respect Selena Gomez.”
“When will people stop doing this!!” one user wrote. “RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ.”
Another went on to say, “So we‘re usin Selena’s kidney transplant as a trend? Multiple times has this happened in media, it needs to stop. #RespectSelenaGomez.”
As fans of Selena already know, this isn’t the first show to bring up the kidney transplant she received in 2017 amid her battle with lupus.
Last year, the Saved by the Bell reboot came under fire for scenes showing students gossiping over who donated the kidney along with graffiti that read “Does Selena Gomez Even Have A Kidney.”
Fans were extremely upset over the incident, with Grownish star Francia Raisa--the one who donated her kidney to Gomez--speaking out about the episode. After receiving backlash, Peacock, UTV and executive producers issued an apology and the scenes were removed from the series.
While The Good Fight’s reference to Selena’s health problems seem less offensive, fans still aren’t okay with her struggles being mentioned in such a manner.