“Hey, hey, hey — what is going on here?”
That’s not just Principal Richard Belding’s famous “Saved by the Bell” catchphrase. It’s also actor Dennis Haskins’ position on Lifetime’s upcoming “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story,” premiering September 1.
The Lifetime biopic, executive produced by Dustin “Screech” Diamond, pulls the curtain back on what really happened on the set of one of the most beloved high school sitcoms of the 1990s. But Haskins, who starred as Mr. Belding on both the proper “Saved by the Bell” series as well as the “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” follow-up, tells TMZ that the Lifetime movie isn’t pulling the curtain back on anything real — it’s just inventing drama for drama’s sake, “and to make some money.”
“I was there. I know what happened and what didn’t happen,” Haskins said. “There wasn’t time for a lot to happen behind the scenes, because the kids went to school in the morning, then I came in at noon, and went to work in the afternoon. They were in and out of school.”
Haskins said he’s particularly disappointed with Diamond, who he, “worked with for eleven years,” for the role he’s playing in executive producing the biopic, as well as Diamond’s “Behind the Bell” autobiography, released in 2009.
“He just gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine and he said, ’I didn’t really write all the stuff in the book,’ which I haven’t read,” Haskins said. “But he’s an executive producer of the movie. So he’s not taking responsibility for whatever’s coming out.”
“There just wasn’t any craziness. People dated each other. Okay, so what?” Haskins continued. “Who do you believe? The people who were there — Mario, Mark Paul, Elisabeth and myself — or somebody who says, ’No, I just got on the phone with a guy, and the next thing I know he wrote these things, and I didn’t know he’d written them,’ and now he’s the executive producer of a movie with all of that in it?”
Sounds like Haskins won’t be tuning into the “Saved by the Bell” drama when it debuts next week — and it sounds like Dustin Diamond will forever be in Haskins’ proverbial detention hall.