Zack Morris himself, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, said he was not happy with what he heard and read from Dustin Diamond’s tell-all book about their time on Saved By the Bell, saying in an interview with HuffPost Live: “It is negative. That I must say. Everything I’ve heard about his book is it is negative. I don’t remember those things. My experience on the show was very positive.”
Gosselaar appeared with Breckin Meyer to promote their show Franklin & Bash, and when the subject of Screech came up, it was the non-Bayside High alum who had the harshest comments: “This guy’s such a dick,” Meyer said. “I don’t know Dustin at all, but like, everything I read… [Gosselaar] and I have talked endlessly about Saved by the Bell. I grew up at the same time, I was acting — I used their sets one time when I did a pilot… The Dustin Diamond thing is just so silly. It’s just so negative and it always bums me out.”
The conversation turned to Diamond when a fan asked whether Gosselaar was involved in the upcoming Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, and the HuffPost Live host mentioned that the TV movie might be based on Diamond’s book, Behind the Bell. Gosselaar clarified that neither he, nor the rest of the cast, are “involved in any way” with the movie. Lifetime has already stated that their movie is not based on Diamond’s book, but on hours of their own interviews with those connected to the show.
Also, in further defense of Screech, Diamond disowned the book during a 2013 interview with OWN, saying that not only was he never given a copy of Behind the Bell to approve before it was published, but the ghostwriter misconstrued statements he made, specifically about sex and drug use on set. “That came about from throwaway statements of [the ghostwriter asking], ‘Was anybody doing drugs or sleeping together on the set?’ ‘Well, what do you think — there was a bunch of kids with hormones, 15, 16-years old.'” Diamond recalled. “That turned into factual trash-talking about everybody. I have nothing but good thoughts and memories towards everybody.”