Winona Ryder has accused Mel Gibson of making anti-Semitic and anti-gay comments in an interview with The Sunday Times. The “Stranger Things” star was asked by a reporter if she has experienced anti-Semitism in the industry, and she responded with several examples.
“I have … in interesting ways,” she explained. “There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’ 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 also recounted a disturbing run-in with Mel Gibson, which is a story she has told over the years.
“We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends,” she 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 says Gibson “tried” to apologize later on.
A spokesman for Gibson did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Gibson’s most famous anti-Semitic outburst took place in 2006, when a police report revealed that he said “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!” during a DUI arrest.
He told Variety in 2016 that, “It was an unfortunate incident. I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
Gibson’s prejudices have been publicly exposed several times. In 2010, RadarOnline published audio recordings of Gibson screaming at his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva during which he used racist slurs, including the n-word. The erratic Gibson — an A-list actor and director throughout the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s — never fully recovered his stature from the fallout, though his 2016 war film “Hacksaw Ridge” was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture and best director for Gibson.
Ryder, who recently starred in “The Plot Against America,” said in the interview that she is “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.”