Entertainment

‘Saved By the Bell’ Reboot Mocks Selena Gomez’s Kidney Transplant and Francia Raísa Thinks It’s Not Funny

It appears that the Saved By the Bell reboot is off to a bad start. The much anticipated NBCUniversal’s Peacock series garnered tons of negative press over the weekend for making what many viewers considered inappropriate jokes about Selena Gomez’s health struggles.

One of the offensive scenes in question had two characters arguing about whether Gomez’s kidney donor was “Justin Bieber’s mom” or Demi Lovato. Later in the episode, a wall was spray-painted with the words: “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”

Fans flocked to social media to condemn the program for making light of Gomez’s harrowing health journey.

“I can officially say that this generation is full of some sick and insensitive ppl,” wrote one Selena stan on Twitter. “The fact that if her surgery went wrong, she wouldnt be here today. and a whole ass show producer thought it was okay to mock her for it? the script writers too? what??” Many similar sentiments were echoed on social media.

The blowback became so bad that NBCUniversal was forced to apologize for the tasteless joke. They have since removed the “jokes” from the episode.

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

Selena Gomez’s kidney donor, fellow actress Francia Raísa, addressed NBCUniversal’s apology via Twitter. “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 said.

Selena Gomez has been candid about the trauma she’s endured over the years due to her autoimmune disease, lupus. Gomez’s lupus forced her to undergo chemotherapy and eventually, seek a kidney transplant.

“I had arthritis. My kidneys were shutting down. My mentality was just to keep going,” Selena revealed in a 2017 interview with the Today Show. “That was it. And I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life and that was the day I came home, when I found out, and [Raísa] volunteered and did it.”

But Gomez’s kidney transplant wasn’t the end of her health journey, both mental and physical.

After her surgery, Gomez struggled with body image issues, specifically surrounding her surgery scar. In a recent Instagram post, Gomez revealed that it took her a while to become confident in her own skin after her surgery.

“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar,” she wrote. “I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through.”

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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Mario Lopez Publicly Supports Former Co-Star Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ After ‘Heartbreaking’ Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis

Entertainment

Mario Lopez Publicly Supports Former Co-Star Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ After ‘Heartbreaking’ Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis

Photo via mariolopezviva/Twitter

Mario Lopez is living proof that true old friends stick by your side–no matter what. The “Access Hollywood” co-host took to Twitter recently to voice his support of his friend and former “Saved By the Bell” co-star, Dustin Diamond after the tragic revelation of Diamond’s stage four cancer diagnosis.

“I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this,” wrote Lopez. “Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery.
God Bless”.

On Thursday, Dustin Diamond aka “Screech” was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after he was admitted to the hospital for intense pain.

In addition to feeling pain all over his body, Diamond also allegedly discovered a “huge lump” on his throat. Although his representatives describe his condition as serious, he is reportedly undergoing chemotherapy and his friends and loved ones are hopeful for his recovery.

“We can confirm that Dustin does have cancer,” a representative for Diamond revealed to People. “It’s very serious, though we are still waiting for more details, which we will have shortly. He’s in a lot of pain.”

To Entertainment Weekly, his reps said: “By next week, we’ll have a much better understanding of the severity of his condition and what treatments he will need so that he’s comfortable.” They also added that Diamond was “fading in and out” when he was first admitted to the hospital.

Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez have long had a complicated relationship.

In Mario Lopez’s 2014 book “Just Between Us,” he revealed that Diamond wasn’t exactly beloved by the rest of the cast. “Not everyone got along with Screech AKA Dustin Diamond. I did, but maybe I was the exception,” he wrote. “He was one of those dorky kids who thought it was hilarious to take Polaroids of his genitals and leave the photos all over the set.”

In Dustin Diamond’s 2009 tell-all book “Behind the Bell”, he painted a picture of negative experience on set. The youngest of the cast, Diamond often felt ostracized by the “in crowd” Bay City High’s hotter, older cast members.

After “Saved By the Bell” stopped filming, Dustin Diamond had a hard time getting back on his feet.

Diamond seemed to be embroiled in endless controversy, from reality show fights, to sex tapes, to bar-room brawls. In 2015, he was sentenced to four months in jail after stabbing a man during a bar fight.

He sat down for an interview with Mario Lopez for Extra in 2016 to set the record straight about his alleged bad body behavior. At that point, Diamond told Lopez that he had started a new chapter in his life.

“I want to put the tom foolery and malarkey behind me, you know? It’s time for that clean slate. Time for the change.”

Well, we hope Diamond gets better so he can fulfill his dreams of having a new lease on life. We’re glad his old friends are standing by him.

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