The Disney Channel family sticks together.
On Wednesday (Aug. 4), Ashley Tisdale took to her Instagram Story to support Selena Gomez after a joke about the pop star/actress’ kidney transplant from the Paramount+ show The Good Fight came to light.
“It’s sad to me that when a celebrity decides to share their story, especially difficulties with their health, writers have decided to turn that into a joke in multiple shows?!” Tisdale wrote. “It takes courage to come out and let people in to what you are personally going through and in turn you’re making that person’s journey into a joke. Maybe go back to school to come up with something clever and actually funny.”
Gomez herself called out the “tasteless” joke on Tuesday after her fans brought it to her attention on social media. “I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” she wrote. “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.” She went on to thank fans for always having her back and also urged followers to become organ donors and provided a link to sign up.
Selenators blasted The Good Fight (a spin-off of CBS’ The Good Wife) for a joke in its new season about Gomez’s 2017 kidney transplant, not even a year after Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot landed in hot water for the very same thing. In the Good Fight episode, Jay (played by Nyambi Nyambi) says it seems like people “need a permission slip to tell a joke” and asks what topics are completely off-limits, with Jim (Ifadansi Rashad) responding, “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.”
In the Saved by the Bell reboot, which premiered in November 2020, two students were seen arguing about who the donor was for Gomez’s kidney transplant. “I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber’s mom. God, I wish that I had my phone so that I could prove it,” one character says. The other student replies, “Prove what? That you’re an idiot? It was Demi Lovato’s kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were.” In a later scene, the words “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” were written near some lockers on the walls of the high school. The show later apologized, made a donation to The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC and removed the scenes from the Peacock series.
Gomez has lived with Lupus for many years and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017, later revealing that the donor was her best friend Francia Raisa.
Tisdale and Gomez grew up together on Disney Channel, with Tisdale starring in the High School Musical films and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, while Gomez got her start on Wizards of Waverly Place.