UPDATED 6/24, 9:50 a.m. ET: A rep for Mel Gibson stated to Variety, “This is 100 percent untrue. [Ryder] lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she’s lying about it now.”
Ryder previously said Gibson attempted to apologize to her for the offensive remarks; the rep says that’s false, too. “She lied about him trying to apologize to her back then. He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him.”
See original story below.
Mel Gibson is once again coming under fire for his perceived prejudices.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times of London, Winona Ryder discussed her Jewish heritage and some of the anti-Semitism she’s faced during her career. She recalled one 1995 incident in particular, where Gibson used derogatory language towards Ryder and her friend.
“We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends, and Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we’re all talking and he said to my friend, who’s gay, ‘Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?’ And then something came up about Jews, and he said, ‘You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’”
Ryder told the publication that Gibson “tried” to apologize at a later date. The Stranger Things actress first opened up about the incident in 2010.
Gibson first came under fire in 2006, when he went a now-famous anti-Semitic rant, aimed at a California cop, after being arrested for suspicion of drunk driving—an incident that severely damaged his career. Twitter, of course, has never forgotten Gibson’s bigotry.
Ryder told the same story about Gibson during an interview with GQ 10 years ago. Writer Alex Pappademas shared a screenshot from the article on Twitter, writing, “when I interviewed Winona Ryder she told me the same story about Mel Gibson & we printed it in a national magazine ten years ago and nothing happened.”
Ryder also detailed other instances in which she has experienced anti-Semitism. “There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’” Ryder told the Times.
In another anecdote, Ryder recalled an audition where she was discounted for a movie role because the producer thought she looked “too Jewish.”
“There was a movie that I was up for a long time ago, it was a period piece, and the studio head, who was Jewish, said I looked ‘too Jewish’ to be in a blue-blooded family,” she added.
She also touched on how Judaism plays a role in her life and her connections to the Holocaust. “Not religious, but I do identify. It’s a hard thing for me to talk about because I had family who died in the camps, so I’ve always been fascinated with that time.”