Winona Ryder Responds to Mel Gibson’s Denial of ‘Oven-Dodger’ Comments: ‘It’s a Painful and Vivid Memory for Me’

June 23, 2020
Photo by Leon Bennett & Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

On June 23, a spokesperson for filmmaker Mel Gibson said that Gibson never made any anti-Semitic comments toward Winona Ryder; Ryder said in response that Gibson’s alleged remarks were “a painful and vivid memory for me.”

In an interview with the British newspaper Sunday Times published on June 21, Ryder alleged that Gibson told her in 1996 she looked “too Jewish” and asked if she was an “oven-dodger.” She also said that Gibson attempted to apologize to her over the matter. Ryder previously made these allegations in 2010.

Alan Nierob, a spokesperson for Gibson, told The Hollywood Reporter that Ryder is lying about the allegations as well as Gibson’s attempted apology. “He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies, and she refused to address it with him,” Nierob said.

Ryder responded to Nierob’s remarks in a statement to the Journal, “I believe in redemption and forgiveness and hope that Mr. Gibson has found a healthy way to deal with his demons, but I am not one of them. Around 1996, my friend Kevyn Aucoin and I were on the receiving end of his hateful words. It is a painful and vivid memory for me. Only by accepting responsibility for our behavior in this life, can we make amends and truly respect each other, and I wish him well on this lifelong journey.”  

In 2006, when he was pulled over while driving drunk, Gibson allegedly said, “F—ing Jews … Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” He has since issued multiple apologies and reportedly donated to The Survivor Mitzvah Project, which provides monetary aid to Holocaust survivors.

Some have criticized Gibson’s 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ” for portraying Jews as the reason for Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

This article has been updated.

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