Winona Ryder Urges Mel Gibson to ‘Accept Responsibility’ for His Behavior After He Denies Making Antisemitic ‘Oven Dodger’ Comment
Jewish American actress Winona Ryder fired back at actor Mel Gibson this week after “The Patriot” star denied making antisemitic and homophobic remarks toward Ryder and a friend of hers over two decades ago.
In a recent interview, Ryder, 48, recalled Gibson, 64, calling her at a party in the 1990s an “oven dodger,” a clear reference to the crematoria at Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and telling her friend who was gay, “Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?”
Gibson, through a representative, called the allegations “100 percent untrue,” claiming the “Stranger Things” actress had lied repeatedly about the encounter.
In a statement to Variety, Ryder addressed Gibson’s response, saying: “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.”
Aucoin, an openly-gay American makeup artist whose celebrity clients included Madonna and Whitney Houston, among others, died in 2002 from a prescription painkiller overdose.
Ryder had previously talked about the incident with Gibson and had accused the actor of making discriminatory comments around her for years, according to Variety.
She said Gibson later “tried” to apologize to her about his comments at the party.
Gibson’s spokesperson said the actor never attempted to apologize, but he did reach out to Ryder “many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him.”
Gibson has a history of making antisemitic remarks, including an infamous tirade while being arrested in 2006 for a DUI in which he told a police office that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!”
The “Braveheart” star also made racist remarks to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in 2010 during a fight, which was caught on video that was then leaked to the press.