Pop Culture: Mario Lopez

Mario Lopez comes out as Chicano on Saved by the Bell
During the early years of Saved by the Bell, the ethnicity of Mario Lopez’s character AC Slater was never discussed. Instead, most of the attention was focused on Slater’s muscular physique. But in the show’s final seasons, Slater finally came out as Mexican-American in the beach club episode where he translated the complaints of striking workers—although he hilariously mistranslated “go on strike” as “go bowling.” Eventually, Slater would fully embrace his cultura during Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Taking a crush’s advice, he learns about his Mexican ancestry and gets involved in the movement for a Chicano Studies department at the university. During a heated argument with Zack, Slater reveals his heritage; he is a Chicano, his last name was originally Sanchez, and he is proud.

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About this author

Miranda Noland,

Miranda Noland is the Senior Photo Editor for Latina.com. She handles all the photo needs for the site and occasionally writes a thing or two. Growing up in a small town in Missouri, she collected (and hoarded) magazines and dreamed of working at one someday. She studied art and design at Drury University and moved to New York City after graduating. She loves being an aunt to her two nephews and has recently moved to be closer to them. She's a pop culture junkie who watches way too much television, and she still hoards magazines.