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Mel Gibson denies calling Winona Ryder 'oven dodger'

Gibson claims actress 'lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she's lying about it now'

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Hollywood star Winona Ryder has spoken out about antisemitism in the film industry, saying she was once told she looked “too Jewish” to be cast as part of a  “blue-blooded” family in a period drama.

She told the Sunday Times that the comments came from a studio head who was Jewish himself. She added: “There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’"

Ms Ryder, who was promoting an up-coming dramatisation of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America which will air on Sky Atlantic in July, also said that the Australian actor Mel Gibson had once called her an “oven-dodger” because she was Jewish. 

“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 first made the allegations ten years ago, and the Sunday Times reported that Gibson had apologised subsequently.

But this week Gibson denied the allegations. "This is 100% untrue," a representative for Gibson said in a statement to entertainment website TooFab. "She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she's lying about it now.

"Also, she lied about him trying to apologise to her back then. He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him." 

In 2006 Mr Gibson was stopped by a police officer in Malibu, California. He was arrested for drunk driving and launched into an attack on the officer - who was Jewish. He allegedly shouted: "F***king Jews…the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world".

 

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