In a new interview, Winona Ryder has revealed that Mel Gibson once called her an "oven dodger" to her face. Ryder told the story to The Sunday Times, explaining that the two of them were at a party once and Gibson was smoking cigars with a friend of hers. At some point, she says, "something came up about Jews."
Gibson asked Ryder, who identifies as Jewish, "You're not an oven dodger, are you?" Additionally, Ryder stated that Gibson also insulted her friend, who was gay, by asking if he was "gonna get AIDS" from sharing a cigar with the man. She does not appear to have dated the incident, but she did state that Gibson later "tried" to apologize for his comments.
This is not the first time Gibson has been accused of anti-Semitic behavior, as he previously apologized to an LAPD officer after verbally abusing him during a 2006 arrest. One of the comments Gibson made during that incident was that "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Notably, Gibson's father — Hutton Gibson — was known for his extremist views on many subjects, including the Holocaust. He was previously quoted as saying that he believed it was "mostly fictional," and questioned the fact that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis.
During her interview, Ryder stated that there have been some very "interesting ways" that she has encountered anti-Semitism in Hollywood throughout the years. She offered an example: "There are times when people have said, 'Wait, you're Jewish? But you're so pretty!'" Ryder continued, "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."
The Stranger Things actress went on to comment briefly on her Jewish heritage, saying, that she is "not religious, but does "identify." She added, "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." Interestingly, one Twitter user pointed out that this is not the first time that Ryder has publicly spoken about Gibson's comments, as she reportedly told The Guardian back in 2010. The user noted, "Winona Ryder said this about Mel Gibson 10 years ago and no one cared."