Hollywood actor Mel Gibson has denied Winona Ryder’s allegations that he made anti-semitic comments.
The debate around the issue stemmed from a recent interview in which Ryder detailed the struggles she has faced within the film industry as her Jewish heritage has often been a stumbling block when attempting to secure high profile roles.
Detailing one specific incident, Ryder explained: “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.”
While Ryder claimed to have faced issues landing roles, the actor also claimed that anti-semitism was rife in the personal lives of those associated with cinema, referencing an alleged incident which involved Mel Gibson.
Ryder claimed: “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?’”
Now, in response to the allegations, Gibson has issued a strong denial. “This is 100% untrue. She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she’s lying about it now,” Gibson’s representatives told The New York Post in a statement.
Adding: “She lied about him trying to apologise to her back then,” in reference to the original claim which was first made some years ago. “He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies, and she refused to address it with him.”
While the argument continues to roll on, Ryder issued her own response to The Post, stating: “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.”