Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Winona Ryder says Mel Gibson asked if she was an ‘oven dodger’

(JTA) — Actress Winona Ryder said she was passed over for a movie role because the studio head thought she looked “too Jewish” and Mel Gibson once asked her if she was an “oven dodger.”

Ryder talked about her experiences with anti-Semitism in Hollywood as part of wide-ranging interview published in the London-based Sunday Times.

“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,” Ryder told newspaper.

Related story: With ‘oven dodger’ comments coming home to roost, Mel Gibson runs afowl of ‘Chicken Run 2’

The incident with Gibson, at a party in 1995, was first reported in an interview in GQ in 2010. Ryder said that when something came up in the conversation about Jews, the actor-director said, ‘You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’” – a reference to the ovens that cremated the bodies of inmates in Nazi extermination camps. She added that Gibson later tried to apologize for the remark.

Ryder was born Winona Lauren Ryder in Winona, Minnesota.

Speaking of her Judaism, Ryder said that she is “Not religious, but I do identify. 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.”

She also said: “There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’”

Ryder recently appeared in the HBO miniseries “The Plot Against America” based on the novel by Philip Roth.

The post Winona Ryder says Mel Gibson asked her is she was an ‘oven dodger’ appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    50th meeting of the Yiddish Open Mic Cafe

    Hybrid event in London and online.

    Aug 14, 2022

    1:30 pm ET · 

    Join audiences and participants from across the globe for this live celebration of Yiddish songs, poems, jokes, stories, games, serious and funny - all performed in Yiddish with English translation.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.