Want to make someone crack up? Remind them of the time that Selena Gomez, who suffers from lupus, had to have a kidney transplant. Because debilitating autoimmune diseases are hilarious! For the second time in less than nine months, the actor/singer was forced to call out people who should know better for making light of the life-threatening surgery she underwent in 2017 due to a debilitating autoimmune disease. As Variety reports, the joke was made in an episode of The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight, in which a group of lawyers attempt to write some jokes but first have to figure out which topics are too taboo to joke about. They come up with three things: necrophilia, autism, and Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.
The scene sparked immediate outrage with Gomez’s fans, and on Tuesday the 29-year-old tweeted her own thoughts on the matter:
“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.”
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.
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) August 3, 2021
But rather than issue an apology, The Good Fight team seems to be taking a cue from its own legalese and making the argument a semantic one—at least if an insider who spoke to Variety is to be believed:
“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.”
Yeah… it doesn’t quite work that way. And if the show was trying to make a statement on cancel culture, there were plenty of other avenues to take that didn’t yet again turn a young woman’s health issues into a punch line. Back in late November, Gomez found herself in a similar predicament when Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot made a joke at her expense and ended up issuing an apology, editing the episode, and making a donation to Gomez’s charity. Gomez has spoken openly about her health problems, her battles with depression, and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It’s your move, The Good Fight.