Francia Raisa Speaks Out Following Saved By the Bell's Selena Gomez Kidney Remarks

"Appreciate the apology but let's not forget about the donors that potentially felt offended," Francia Raisa said in response to Saved By the Bell's remarks on Selena Gomez's kidney transplant.

By Alyssa Morin Nov 29, 2020 7:36 PMTags
Watch: "Saved by the Bell" Apologizes for Selena Gomez Kidney Remark

Francia Raisa is breaking her silence.

The Grown-ish actress spoke out after the Saved By the Bell reboot came under fire for making several references to Selena Gomez's real-life 2017 kidney transplant amid her battle with lupus.

Francia—who donated one of her kidneys to the pop star—took to social media to share her thoughts on the television show, which is currently on NBCU's Peacock streaming service.

"Some of the cast and producers have reached out to me personally to apologize for this and I truly appreciate that," the actress captioned her Instagram Story on Saturday, Nov. 28, "but I do want to acknowledge that this public apology from the network should acknowledge the donors that could have been offended by this."

"It's not about me," she continued, "it's about acknowledging the great role that donors play @nbc @peacocktv #savedbythebell."

Along with her Instagram statement, Francia also issued a response on Twitter.

Selena Gomez's Most Candid Quotes

"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 shared.

In another Twitter message, she added, "As a kidney donor, I want to show love and let other donors know that you are not alone. You are seen. You are appreciated. You are so brave and your selfless act is very much appreciated and valued!"


For some backstory: The sixth episode of the Saved By the Bell reboot featured two major references about Selena's kidney transplant. 

In one scene, there are two students, who are not main cast members, arguing over Selena's transplant donor. "I know for a fact that Selena Gomez's kidney donor was Justin Bieber's mom," one character stated, per a video taken from the episode and shared online. "God I wish that I had my phone so I could prove it."

In response, the other character said, "Prove what? That you're an idiot. It was Demi Lovato's kidney. They're best friends... like you and I were."

Another scene from the same episode showed main cast members Alycia Pascual-Peña (Aisha Garcia) and Belmont Cameli (Jamie Spano) having a touching moment. Although the two stars didn't mention the singer's surgery, there was a graffiti wall behind them that appeared to have the message: "Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?"

Selena's fans expressed outrage over the episode on Twitter and even got "Respect Selena Gomez" to trend on Saturday.

Following the backlash, Peacock, UTV and executive producers issued a joint apology.

"We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena's health," the statement read, which was shared with E! News. "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."

At this time, the Rare singer hasn't publicly commented on the Saved By the Bell episode.

(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)