Mark-Paul Gosselaar Reflects On Racist 'Saved by the Bell' Scene
In the most recent episode of his podcast, Mark-Paul Gosselaar looked back at a moment from Saved by the Bell that he's not proud of! The actor said he "cringed" at his performance while watching an episode where his character "Zack" donned a Native American outfit. Find out more here!
Mark-Paul Gosselaar recently talked about an offensive Saved by the Bell scene that he forgot existed! On Wednesday, Zack to the Future, Gosselaar discussed the episode "Running Zack," which saw his character "Zack Morris" appropriating Native American culture for a school assignment.
Gosselaar says he "cringed" watching the episode again
Gosselaar's podcast sees him looking back at old episodes of Saved by the Bell, and he admitted that he wasn't proud of his performance in "Running Zack". "I cringed seeing myself portraying a white dude being Zack Morris, who is like the all-American, blond-haired white dude in an Indian Native American headdress," he said.
The actor also said that while he rewatched the episode for the podcast, he didn't recall donning the offensive costume! "I don't, like, remember putting on the headdress," he said. "I don't remember putting face paint on. I don't remember standing in that awkward way that I was standing where my arms are folded and like a very stereotypical way."
Gosselaar says the episode "would never get made" today
Gosselaar currently stars in Peacock's Saved by the Bell reboot, reprising his character of "Zack". He also noted that since the episode in question was made decades ago, those involved were not as conscious of racially offensive stereotypes.
"We're much more sensitive now, for good reason, that those things would not happen today," the actor said of the stereotypical Native American costume seen in "Running Zack". "This episode would never get made in current times, and rightly so."