'Saved By The Bell' Reboot Scrubs Selena Gomez Kidney Jokes

Selena Gomez is no longer the butt of a couple jokes from the new "Saved By The Bell" cast -- after tons of backlash, the show's removing the kidney jokes.

The new Peacock series scrubbed all references to Selena's kidney transplant after the outrage started pouring in Saturday ... but an edited version is already streaming. So, a pretty quick about-face.

As we reported ... eagle-eyed Selena fans noticed 2 references in the reboot to the pop star's 2017 surgery, and they started raising hell on social media over the weekend and even got "RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ" to trend online.

The first reference was cavalier ... 2 high school classmates loudly discussing Selena's kidney transplant in the middle of a hallway.

The second Selena dig was more subtle, but just as offensive to some folks. A wall in the background of a scene had graffiti or paint that read in big bold lettering, "DOES SELENA GOMEZ EVEN HAVE KIDNEYS?"

Lots of folks called the jokes disgusting and said Selena's life-or-death transplant was nothing to joke about.

Selena's remained silent, but Peacock apologized for the jokes pretty quickly, saying it was not their intention to make light of her health, and promising to make a donation to her charity.

'Saved by the Bell' Reboot Selena Gomez Kidney Jokes Fly ... Fans Are Infuriated

2:32 PM PT -- Peacock has apologized for their Selena jokes, saying ... "We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena's health." They added, "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."

Selena has yet to speak on the controversy.

Selena Gomez was the butt of a couple of jokes on the 'Saved By The Bell' reboot that many consider in bad taste -- and which even more are raging over.

Mega fans of the pop star found two references to Selena's 2017 kidney transplant in the new Peacock series that just dropped in full this past Wednesday ... and then made "RESPECT SELENA GOMEZ" trend online Saturday as a result of their fury.

The first scene features one of the new characters roaming the hallways of the high school and passing 2 classmates discussing Selena's kidney transplant in an incredibly cavalier manner ... with one girl insisting Justin Bieber's mom was the real donor, while the other girl refutes that by saying it was actually Demi Lovato.

A Selena fan account responded by saying, "Saved by the Bell, that's disgusting. Selena almost lost her life, jokes about her kidney transplant is NOT FUNNY. Respect Selena Gomez." The second Selena dig is more subtle.

There's another scene where a football player is talking to a girl, and right behind him ... there's graffiti or paint on the wall that reads in big bold lettering, "DOES SELENA GOMEZ EVEN HAVE KIDNEYS?" The eagle-eyed fan who spotted this one noted the joke wasn't funny -- and went so far as to call it disgusting.

Here's what we'll say ... the Selena cracks are weird, and definitely cringe-worthy. Also, they're super dated. Selena had her procedure done three full years ago ... so bringing it up as a running gag in 2020 is tired, especially when everyone knows her friend, Francia Raisa, was the true donor ... which was well-documented.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

More importantly, her fans are right here ... Selena's kidney transplant was, in fact, a matter of life or death -- and something that probably shouldn't be joked about, especially on a new streaming service from a major network.

Peacock hasn't addressed the backlash just yet, and neither has Selena. Stay tuned ...

Originally Published -- 2:14 PM PT

MSNBC's Brian Williams On Trump's 'Rona Response Most Sarcastic Monologue Ever

Dripping with sarcasm
MSNBC

Anyone looking to get schooled in sarcasm, irony or satire ... check out Brian Williams going full Jonathan Swift on President Trump's COVID response, and Geraldo's praise for the Prez.

The MSNBC anchor ended his broadcast Friday night by mocking Geraldo Rivera over-praising Trump's handling of the virus on 'FOX & Friends' ... which Brian then proceeded to piggy-back on and take it to a whole new level of ass-kissing.

If you take BW at his word here, it sounds like he's completely on Trump's side -- but, as his remarks go on ... it becomes clear he's doing nothing but making fun of the Prez, because everything he's saying isn't true. Watch for yourself, it's a riot.

Brian says it's possible we aren't giving Trump enough credit for his FDR-like commitment to eradicating the virus and the relief efforts he's fast-tracked to help people struggling. He also asks where would we be without Trump's constant lecturing to the American people that masks are crucial and must be worn.

Then comes the full farce ... Brian goes on to compare what Trump Steaks did for the hungry, what Trump Water did the for thirsty, and what Trump University did for the uneducated -- comparing all that to what Trump did here with 'rona.

It's a master class in tongue-in-cheek humor -- but honestly, Brian's tongue might be tearing out of his cheek with this one. 😝

Hoda Kotb I'm Running for Al, He's 'Looking Good' After Cancer Diagnosis

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PRAYERS FOR AL
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Hoda Kotb says things are looking up for Al Roker in his battle with prostate cancer ... and she's got a message for fans who want to help out.

We got the "Today" host jogging through NYC Tuesday -- she says she's running for Al, BTW -- and asked for an update on his health. She'd just recently spoken to him, and was happy to report Al's in a great mood ahead of surgery this week to remove his prostate.

As you know ... Al revealed his cancer diagnosis on the air Friday, saying he learned about the diagnosis Sept. 30 and explaining why he's going to be taking time away from "Today" for surgery and recovery.

Hoda says Al feels things are "looking good" for him, but she had a message for all of his fans looking for a way to help.

It's great news Al's doing well, but we can't say as much for our photog. Watch the clip and one thing is obvious ... Hoda can teach our guy a thing or 2 about cardio.

Al Roker Reveals Prostate Cancer Diagnosis ... Surgery Set for Next Week

Breaking News

Al Roker's sharing some scary personal medical news ... he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but he's taking aggressive steps to beat it.

The longtime "Today" host and meteorologist announced it Friday morning on the air, and said he's going to undergo surgery next week to have his prostate removed. Al said he learned about the diagnosis on September 30 but shared the news now to explain to viewers why he'll be taking off some time for the surgery and recovery.

Al called it a good-news-bad-news situation, saying, "Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I"m going to be taking some time off to take care of this."

Dr. Vincent Laudone will perform the procedure at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, and said they decided removing the prostate was the better option over radiation.

66-year-old Roker says he hopes sharing the news will encourage Black men to get screened for a cancer that's very treatable if detected early. Al's been advocating for that since 2013, when he and co-anchor Craig Melvin got prostate exams live on "Today."

Donald Trump I Can't Denounce QAnon ... I Know Nothing About It!!!

QANON?
NBC

Donald Trump says he's always denounced white supremacy despite his stumbling block on the debate stage, but he won't denounce the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Trump refused to condemn the bizarre QAnon theory during Thursday's town hall on NBC with Savannah Guthrie ... and his reasoning -- he doesn't know anything about it.

Quick refresher ... QAnon claims, among other things, the world is being run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are moving against Trump at the same time they operate a global child sex-trafficking ring.

Trump says he can't denounce it, or tell the American people it's all bogus, because he's not up to speed on the theory ... other than knowing QAnon is against pedophilia just like he is.

POTUS brushed off several points Guthrie made ... like the fact GOP Sen. Ben Sasse has already ripped the theory as "nuts" and said real leaders call out conspiracy theories.

STAND BY
FOX News

Guthrie also pressed Trump on his hesitation to denounce white supremacy at the debate, and he claimed he's always denounced white supremacists ... despite the fact he told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by."

Trump got super defensive, then attacked Guthrie and the media.

There are a few things Trump says he's well versed on and happy to denounce ... "Antifa and the radical left."

Demi Lovato Message for Fans to 'Vote' Muzzled By NBC During Airing of Billboard Awards

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THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE

Demi Lovato performed her new song with a message for viewers to "VOTE" ... but when it aired on NBC ... the network muzzled her message.

Lovato took the stage Wednesday for a moving rendition of her song "Commander in Chief," a song that takes direct aim at President Trump. We've obtained footage of Demi's performance -- the way she wanted it to air and it was originally recorded -- and at the end the word "VOTE" is very clearly displayed across the video board on the stage.

THE BROADCAST
NBC

That final message was gone when the show aired on TV. In its place -- a close-up of Demi at the piano.

Sources say the network pulled the plug on the "VOTE" message because the song itself was a slam on Trump and the "VOTE" message was a call to vote against him.

The song's lyrics leave no question about Lovato's feelings about the Prez ... "Commander in Chief, honestly. If I did the things you do, I couldn't sleep, seriously. Do you even know the truth? We're in a state of crisis, people are dyin.' While you line your pockets deep. Commander in Chief, how does it feel to still be able to breathe?"

She doubled down on her message earlier Wednesday, saying, "I literally don't care if this ruins my career."

We've reached out to NBC for comment ... so far, no word back.

Kardashian Family Fires Back at Blac Chyna ... New Racism Claims Reek Of Desperation!!!

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The Kardashians are blasting Blac Chyna for what they see as a desperate attempt to take advantage of the country's renewed focus on racism for her own gain.

Here's the deal ... Chyna is accusing NBCUniversal and the Kardashian/Jenner family of racism on the heels of Gabrielle Union filing a discrimination complaint against the Peacock. BC's new attorney claims racism is the real reason "Rob & Chyna" never got a second season on E!, which NBCUniversal owns.

As you know ... Chyna is locked in a legal war with the entire Kardashian fam, filing a lawsuit way back in October 2017 claiming they went behind her back to NBCU and got her reality show with Rob canceled. Now she says racism is part of it too.

Kardashian-Jenner family attorney Marty Singer tells TMZ ... "This is a 2 year old lawsuit in which Chyna has changed her defense more times than we can count. Sadly, unsurprising to anyone, she has stooped to a new low, changing her defense to try to leverage the emotions and pain of the moment, insulting the pain and suffering of real victims of racial injustice and systemic racism."

Translation ... they smell Chyna's desperation in playing the racism card.

Singer adds ... "We take these allegations very seriously and once again, there is no Rob & Chyna show if there is no Rob & Chyna."

Our sources also tell us ... it was impossible to continue with a show about the couple, because BC had a restraining order against Rob and their relationship was over.

And what's more ... in previously filed docs, Rob's sisters came to his defense, offering witness statements to Chyna's alleged abuse ... and showing just how volatile the relationship was. According to the old docs, there were also witnesses who allegedly saw Chyna brandish a gun and drink heavily.

Chyna's attorney, Lynne Ciani, claims Kris secretly accused BC of beating Rob in December 2016 and went to NBCUniversal with her accusation. Ciani claims no one at the network ever informed Chyna of the allegations and says the situation would've been handled differently if BC was white.

But, Kris and Rob essentially think BC's new claims of racism are suspect, because it's the first time she's mentioned it in the 2 years since filing suit.

Justin Hartley Plants Wet One On Ex-'Y&R' Costar!!!

2:21 PM PT -- Justin's new girlfriend is actually someone very familiar to him ... former 'Young and the Restless' costar Sofia Pernas. Justin played Adam Newman on the soap opera from 2014 until 2016. And, get this ... Sofia joined the show in 2015 to play Justin's TV GF, Marisa Sierras. But, here's what's also interesting ... Chrishell was also on the show in 2016. Awk.

Justin Hartley's got a new bae by his side ... or so it seems.

The "This Is Us" star planted a wet one on a mystery woman Thursday as she dropped him off at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in the L.A. area. It's unclear who she is at the moment ... but they must be pretty close for her to be the one dropping him off to his orthopedic's office. She was also the one who picked him up several hours later.

It's the first time Justin's been spotted with someone new since he filed for divorce from "Selling Sunset" star Chrishell Stause back in November. As we reported days after Justin filed docs ... Chrishell strongly hinted she was blindsided by the divorce docs.

And, then things really got ugly. As we first reported ... Chrishell called BS on the date of separation Justin listed in his divorce docs. You'll recall Justin listed July 8, 2019 as the date of separation but she says it was more like November 22, 2019.

We know they were out together in public together multiple times between July and November, so, yes, Justin's early separation date is puzzling. Our sources told us Chrishell didn't think it's all that puzzling ... since all signs seem to point to some sort of deal Justin may have inked, believing he just doesn't want her to get a slice of the bigger pie.

In any event ... Justin appears to have moved on, but the divorce rages on.

Originally Published -- 11:37 AM PT

Drew Brees I'm Heading To NBC After Saints Career ... Around $6 Mil Per Year!!!

Breaking News

Drew Brees will be heading toward a TV near you after his Saints playing days are over ... inking a deal with NBC that will reportedly pay him roughly $6 mil a year!

NBC Sports confirmed the New Orleans Saints QB will be a TV analyst for the network after he retires from football -- they're clearly trying to find the next Tony Romo.

The New York Post claims ESPN made a serious run at the future Hall of Famer with a deal that would pay around $6 MILLION to join their 'MNF' broadcast ... but Brees turned that down for a similar deal with NBC.

41-year-old Brees will reportedly be groomed to be Cris Collinsworth's replacement on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" broadcast ... and will start out calling Notre Dame games on Saturdays and analyzing NFL games on Sundays.

"Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we are confident his post-playing career will be just as successful," a rep for NBC Sports told The Post.

Brees inked a 2-year, $50 MILLION contract with the Saints this offseason ... but it's very possible he begins his NBC contract next year -- as both Drew and head coach Sean Payton have hinted this could be the final season of his NFL career.

Drew has made a ton of headlines this offseason -- most recently for pledging $5 MILLION to the coronavirus relief efforts in Louisiana.

March 2020
HELP IS NEEDED
TMZ.com

Tom Brokaw Escapes Fire at His NYC Building

Tom Brokaw got a very rude awakening on the first day of the 2020s ... but it ultimately saved his life.

The former "NBC Nightly News" anchor and his wife awoke to a blaze in their Upper East Side building Wednesday morning, which was reportedly 2 floors above their 12th-floor apartment.

Brokaw tells The Post he and his wife were "very, very fortunate" to escape the fire, and he heaps praise on the FDNY for putting it out and getting everyone to safety.

He says their dogs woke them up a bit after midnight and when they went to the hallway, firefighters were on their way to fight the blaze ... which was really scary.

Overall, 100 firefighters were called to the scene and were able to get it under control by 2:30 AM. The fire resulted in one minor injury, and a civilian and 5 firefighters were taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries ... according to FDNY.

Could have been a lot worse ... thankfully it wasn't.

'Days Of Our Lives' Lives to See Another Day ... Season 56 is a Go!!!

Breaking News

There's MORE sand in that hour glass, after all -- "Days of Our Lives" ... the soap opera just got renewed for its 56th season on the heels of the cast being released from their contracts.

Sources involved in production confirmed the long-running sudser got the good word Thursday from executive producer Ken Corday. The green light means the cast doesn't have to sweat the bad news they got just 10 days ago.

As we reported, producers let all the actors out of their deals, but the show was still scheduled to air through the end of this season ... in summer 2020. They've taped that far ahead.

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!!!
TMZ.com

You'll recall ... Chrishell Hartley, who plays -- or played (spoiler alert) -- Jordan Ridgeway on the soap, told us the situation wasn't as dire for 'Days' as it seemed, and she predicted more episodes after the current well ran dry. Turns out, she was right!

No character is ever really gone in the soap biz, and the same is apparently true for 'Days.'

'Days of Our Lives' Entire Cast is Free to Go!!! End of an Era?!?

It's feeling like the end of days for the stars of "Days of Our Lives" -- the entire cast just got released from their contracts.

TMZ has confirmed the producers of the more than 50-year-old soap opera let all their actors out of their deals ... meaning they're all free to get new jobs, but it doesn't necessarily mean the show's definitely sunk.

The NBC sudser, which is about to begin season 55, is going on indefinite hiatus. The network is expected to decide in early 2020 whether to bring it back for season 56.

The good news for 'Days' fans ... the soap shoots 8 months in advance, and there's going to be enough episodes in the bank when the show halts production at the end of November to last through Summer 2020. Whew.

So, to be clear ... "Days of Our Lives" -- which first aired in 1965 -- has NOT been canceled. Not yet. It's possible they'll bring everyone back, if the network re-ups, but at lower salaries.

We've reached out to NBC ... but no word back, so far.

Matt Lauer Denies Rape Story 'Today' Crew Responds

8:57 AM PT -- "Today" anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb seemed to have Brooke's back Wednesday morning during their reporting of the story, somberly saying the allegations she made were "shocking and appalling" and that they fully support Brooke coming forward.

SHOCKED AND APPALLED
TODAY

Hoda went on to explain that this new revelation -- much like the initial wave of allegations against Matt -- was like opening a door on somebody you thought you knew, but realizing there's an ugly side to them. She notes that these aren't just allegations of an affair, but allegations of a crime ... and that news was a shocking bombshell to the "Today" crew.

Both of them said they were going to take time to process the claim, but made a point of saying they were disturbed nonetheless.

Matt Lauer is firing back against a bombshell claim of rape against him by an ex-NBC employee, saying all the sexual encounters they had were consensual and mutual.

The disgraced "Today" show outcast penned a letter Wednesday in response to a salacious claim made in Ronan Farrow's new book -- in which a woman named Brooke Nevils says Matt anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Nevils -- a former NBC producer -- claims she and Matt had several drinks together one night, and that on two separate occasions ... she went up to his hotel room. During that second visit, Nevils alleges Matt pounced on her, put her on the bed and penetrated her.

In the book, Ronan says Nevils told him she repeatedly said "no" during the alleged rape.

Matt says that account is "categorically false" though, going on to explain that the episode was completely wanted and reciprocated on both sides ... which carried over into what he describes as an "extramarital affair" back in New York.

In his letter, Matt writes ... "In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense."

'Saved by the Bell' Reboot Still Trying to Land Mark-P. Gosselaar ... There's Just One Catch

Exclusive

Zack Morris superfans can breathe a small sigh of relief ... NBC's "Saved by the Bell" reboot producers aren't giving up on getting Mark-Paul Gosselaar on board -- in fact, he's in HIGH demand. Which is kinda the problem.

Sources connected to the production -- which is still in its infancy -- tell TMZ ... they ARE trying to get Mark-Paul, and they very much WANT him to be part of the show, but it won't be like the Zack of old.

WAITING FOR MY INVITE
@LionsShareNews

As you probably heard, when NBC announced it was bringing back its 80s and 90s megahit ... the plot surrounds the now California Governor, Zack Morris, and his education policies. That's why everyone assumed MPG was part of the cast, but fans were shocked when we got vid of Mark Wednesday at LAX saying no one's called him about it.

We're told there's a good reason for that -- Mark-Paul's contract to star on ABC's new show, "Mixed-ish." Our sources say production on that show will most likely overlap with that of 'SBTB' ... so NBC knew it couldn't land him for the reboot.

In fact, we're told when they first started talking about the reboot, MPG was starring on another show ... FOX's "The Passage." Hey, the guy works a ton ... great problem to have in Hollywood.

The plan right now is to try to get Gosselaar to make as many guest appearances on 'Saved' as his "Mixed-ish" schedule will allow. It's a tricky dance, but not impossible. We're told 'Saved' honchos will absolutely be reaching out to MPG's reps to make it happen.

Meanwhile, Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley are already in as regulars at the new Bayside High ... where A.C. Slater is now a coach, and Jessie Spano is a guidance counselor.

We're told other members of the OG cast could make cameos too, but the reboot will focus on the new kids on the block at Bayside.

Sorry, Mr. Belding ... there's a new principal in town.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar 'SBTB' Sequel Sounds Great ... But I'm Not in the Clique!!!

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WAITING FOR MY INVITE
@LionsShareNews

Mark-Paul Gosselaar says he's completely out of the loop when it comes to the recently announced "Saved by the Bell" sequel ... but he's down to join if he gets the invite.

We got the star of the popular '90s high school sitcom at LAX Wednesday and asked about the buzz over bringing the show back ... and he shockingly says nobody's reached out to him about it.

Not only that, but as far as MPG knows ... several of his other former costars haven't been contacted yet either, and he seems just as confused as we are.

He tells us he's wishing those who are definitely involved -- Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and writer Tracey Wigfield -- nothing but the best, and suggests if producers do want to bring the OG Zack Morris back ... he'll take the call.

It would make sense to, because the premise of the TV sequel reportedly centers around Governor Zack Morris and his new schooling policy involving Bayside High. However, it's unclear how NBC plans to portray the governor character.

Gosselaar doesn't seem to be too upset by the strange situation, though ... because he's got another big TV show he's currently involved in on ABC.

You gotta hand it to NBC as well ... the company never explicitly stated MPG would be back as Zack, but now everyone can't wait to find out.

Old news is old news!
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