Stranger Things and Beetlejuice actress Winona Ryder has shared an unfond memory of fellow actor/director Mel Gibson, claiming that she once witnessed him hurl antisemitic and homophobic remarks during a party.
Ryder recalled to The Sunday Times her experience as a Jewish woman in Hollywood, and how studio bosses–including one who is Jewish himself–would scrutinize her looks, deciding if she looked too Semitic for a role. She also recalled her unpleasant encounter with Gibson.
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“We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends,” Ryder said. “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 also claims Gibson tried to apologize after the exchange.
Oscar-winner Mel Gibson has long come under fire for a history of antisemitic, homophobic and misogynistic remarks. In 2006, leaked audio of the actor during a DUI arrest went viral, notably for calling a female police officer “sugar t*ts” and saying “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” In 1991, the actor made homophobic remarks to the Spanish publication El Pais for which he later refused to apologize. Gibson’s films Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ have also come under fire for homophobia, with the latter also coming under extreme fire for anti-Jewish stereotypes.