Mark-Paul Gosselaar says racist ‘Saved by the Bell’ episode would ‘rightly’ not get made today

The bell couldn’t save this episode.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar discussed an infamous “Saved by the Bell” episode Wednesday, saying it made him “cringe” and that it would “never get made in current times, and rightly so.”

In 1990′s “Running Zack,” Gosselaar’s character Zack Morris learns he has Native American ancestry prior to a class presentation. Zack gets two shots at the presentation.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar is pictured many years after the questionable episode.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is pictured many years after the questionable episode. (LISA O’CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)

In the first, he blatantly mocks Native American culture, drawing on a classmate’s face with red paint, handing him a toy tomahawk and having him shout, “Me hungry!”

In the second presentation, supposedly an improvement, Zack comes back in a full stereotypical Native American headdress with more face paint.

Gosselaar apologized for the episode back in 2016 as well.

“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,” said Wednesday on the Zack to the Future podcast.

Gosselaar, now 47, added that he remembered very little from filming the episode 31 years ago.

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