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Mark-Paul Gosselaar 'cringed' watching controversial Saved By The Bell episode

BANG Showbiz logo BANG Showbiz 02/04/2021 Bang Showbiz
a young man in a green shirt: Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris © Bang Showbiz Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris

Mark-Paul Gosselaar "cringed" when he re-watched a controversial 'Saved By The Bell' episode.

In the 'Running Zack' - which first aired in 1990 - the 47-year-old actor's character Zack Morris took an assignment about ancestry as a joke and mocked his Native American heritage, going from wearing wear paint to a full stereotypical outfit including a headdress.

Speaking on his 'Zack to the Future' podcast, he said: "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."

Mark-Paul insisted he doesn't recall filming the controversial scene, which many people consider to be racially insensitive.

He added: "This is one of those that I don't, I don't like remember putting on the headdress.

"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.”

However, he is glad that the infamous episode wouldn't be allowed "in current times", and he suggested there are more "protocols in place".

He explained: "But, again, there are protocols in place to and filters that, you know, like a director, standards and practices, people that I think... we're much more sensitive now, for good reason, that those things would not happen today.

"This episode would never get made in current times, and rightly so."

Mark-Paul previously described the experience of re-watching the sitcom for his podcast as "a little bit tortuous".

He said: "I feel like it’s a little bit torturous every week for me to go through this process because I am watching my work — and it doesn’t matter that it’s 30 years old, it’s still something that I feel like I can improve."

Meanwhile, the actor reprised his role of Zack for the recent 'Saved By The Bell' reboot series, which has since been renewed for a second season after a successful first run.

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