Winona Ryder says Mel Gibson once called her a shocking anti-Semitic slur

Winona Ryder stunned by Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic comment.
Winona Ryder; Mel Gibson. Photo credit: Getty

Winona Ryder has added to Mel Gibson's reputation as an anti-Semite by revealing he once referred to her as an 'oven dodger' at a party.

The 48-year-old actress recently spoke to the Sunday Times about her experiences with anti-Semitism within the movie industry, recalling an awkward encounter with the Braveheart star.

"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?'" Ryder told the newspaper.

"And then something came up about Jews, and he said, 'You're not an oven dodger, are you?'''

Ryder revealed Mel later tried to apologise to her, but she was particularly upset by his comments as she had family members who died in the Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.

"I do identify (as Jewish)," she said. "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."

Ryder went on to tell the interviewer she once lost a movie role because producers felt 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."

The encounter was one of many Ryder has had with anti-Semitism: ''There are times when people have said, 'Wait, you're Jewish? But you're so pretty!'" she added.

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