Shortly after fans expressed outrage that a recent episode of TV series The Good Fight had a joke about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant, the singer herself took to Twitter to respond to it.
According to Variety, the line came up when The Good Fight‘s “characters brainstorm joke ideas for a television executive (Wayne Brady). The group then ponders which topics might be off-limits, with Jay (Nyambi Nyambi) noting that comedians these days ‘need a permission slip to tell a joke.’ The topics the group determines to be taboo include necrophilia, autism and ‘Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.’”
Gomez called the joke “tasteless” on her Twitter. The singer wrote, “I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently. 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. My fans always have my back. LOVE YOU. If you are able to please sign up to be an organ donor.”
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A source close to production told Variety that people are taking the joke the wrong way: “If you watch the episode in full, the reference to Selena 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 canceled for telling a bad joke. The reference is that Selena Gomez’s transplant is not something you can joke about.” And yet, by including it, fans believe the show did.
Gomez spoke before about how her 2017 kidney transplant was a “life or death” matter for her. (Gomez had kidney complications as a result of lupus, an autoimmune disease that she was diagnosed with in 2015.) Her friend Francia Raisa donated her own kidney to save Gomez as they were a match.
Raisa, “she lived with me in this interesting time where my kidneys were just done,” Gomez said in a 2017 interview with Raisa for The Today Show where they opened up about the experience for the first time. “That was it. I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life [if they’d donate their kidney]. The thought of asking somebody to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it—and let alone somebody wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean, that’s unbelievable. That’s not real.”
Gomez added that getting the transplant saved her life: “I guess I got to the point where it was really kind of life or death,” she recalled. “It’s really hard to think about or even to swallow especially now that as soon as I got the kidney transplant, my arthritis went away, my lupus is about a 3 to 5 percent chance it’ll ever come back, my blood pressure is better, my energy, my life has been better.”
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