Winona Ryder Reveals Anti-Semitic Mel Gibson Encounter
Winona Ryder revealed her uncomfortable anti-Semitic encounter with Mel Gibson, who has a long history of using anti-Semitic, misogynistic and racist language.
The Stranger Things star discussed her Jewish heritage in a new interview with The Sunday Times, in which she opened up about the time the controversial actor allegedly called her an "oven dodger." (It's a derogatory term used to describe a Jewish person.)
Ryder explained, "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?'" she recalled, adding that Gibson "tried" to apologize afterward.
The 48-year-old actress previously spoke out about this specific incident during a 2011 interview with GQ, telling the magazine she tried to warn people Gibson was anti-Semitic and homophobic but no one believed her.
"I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk," she explained at the time. "I was with my friend, who's gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about 'oven dodgers,' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment."