Mark-Paul Gosselaar is looking back at some of the storylines from Saved by the Bell and acknowledging how problematic they are with today’s context in mind.
The actor started a podcast with Saved by the Bell reboot writer Dashiell Driscoll where they rewatch old episodes of the teen sitcom. During an episode of Zack to the Future, Gosselaar said some of the episodes from the show were difficult to watch.
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While making an appearance on Pod Meets World with Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong and Will Friedle, Gosselaar opened up about the episodes that he found problematic looking back at them.
“In terms of storylines, there was a few,” he said on the podcast. “There was one where I was basically whoring out Lisa Turtle. I charged people to kiss her without her consent, that was a tough one.”
He continued, “We had to preface the [podcast] episode by saying, ‘We do not condone this, we’re just here to discuss it.’”
The other episode that irked Gosselaar was when his character Zack Morris appeared wearing a traditional Native American outfit.
“The other one was where Zack Morris claimed that he was Native American,” he added. “Seeing Zack Morris in a full headdress… That was one we had to be a little sensitive on, there’s things that you just would not film these days.”
Over on his podcast in 2020, Gosselaar acknowledged the problems the episodes have saying (via Buzzfeed News), “We’re not going to say that we don’t see some of the morally abhorrent or dated situations and responses to certain things. But we’re also here to give you a fun podcast, it’s a celebration of Saved By The Bell.”
As an experienced actor in the industry, if Gosselaar would be confronted with a similar storyline now he said that he would “protect” himself as well as the character he is playing.
“This would be one of those times where I would have a dialogue with a writer, producer and have a discussion and say: ‘I think we should look at this a little deeper, is this going to reflect well for me, for the character, for the future of the show?'” he added.
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