Like many Millennials, “Saved by the Bell” was a staple of my childhood. Along with the high waisted, acid washed jeans and A.C. Slater’s infamous curly mullet, the popular cable show captivated young viewers with its relatable, yet, corny storylines. Thinking back to the early 1990s, mainstream entertainment seemed to regurgitate Nancy Regan’s anti-drug, “just say no” campaign. “Saved by the Bell” echoed this narrative by exaggerating the dangers of drug use.
We saw the dramatic meltdown and quasi-intervention of straight-A student, Jessie Spano, as she struggled to confront her dangerous addiction to caffeine pills. Later, before the gang filmed the anti-marijuana “there’s no hope with dope” PSA, the class reflected on the unrelated deaths of NBA player, Len Bias, and actor John Belushi. Although marijuana played no part in their tragic overdoses, it was great propaganda nonetheless.
Cue Dustin Diamond, aka, Samuel “Screech” Powers; the lovable nerd who penned an autobiography claiming that drinking and recreational drug use was rampant off-camera. In contrast with Screech’s wholesome persona, Dustin Diamond now faces more legal trouble in Wisconsin. Last week, NBC News reported that Diamond was in custody in the Ozaukee County Jail for violating the terms of his probation.
You may remember hearing about the 2014 barroom brawl that sent Mr. Diamond to jail for 60 days following his conviction for stabbing a patron in a Port Washington, WI bar. Upon being released from jail he was placed on supervised probation, which prohibited him from using drugs or alcohol.
After a drug test showed traces of Oxycodone in his system Mr. Diamond initially denied using any drugs, but later claimed that he may have ingested the painkiller to manage a toothache.
Not long after serving two days in jail for the violation Mr. Diamond received more bad news from the Badger State. On June 16, 2016 a Denver Post article revealed that Dustin Diamond owes $93,768 in back taxes. Unfortunately for Diamond, there’s no bell that can save him from the IRS.