Winona Ryder, Mel Gibson & The "Oven Dodger" Joke

Heard the one about Mel Gibson being anti-Semitic? Sure, sure. But the story Winona Ryder just revealed is one we'd never heard before.

According to Radar Online, in an interview with GQ, Winona Ryder (née Horowitz) recalls:

"I remember, like, 15 years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties, and [Mel Gibson] was really drunk. I was with my friend, who's gay. [Gibson] made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish.

He said something about 'oven dodgers,' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, 'He's anti-Semitic and he's homophobic.' No one believed me!"

Is it true? No one believed her? Or was it just that they didn't care? Fifteen years ago, in 1995, Mel was fresh off the hugely popular Mad Max and Lethal Weapon franchises. And a little film he starred in and directed, Braveheart, had just hit theaters. Braveheart went on to win a whopping five Academy awards — including Best Picture and Best Director — and had been nominated for ten all together.

Taking into account his success, all the people he worked with, and his high-energy personality, Mel's homophobia and anti-Semitism could not have been a secret — especially if he was going around saying terrible things while drunk at parties. But he was also a money machine, which the industry adores. He went on to do The Nancy Meyers blockbuster What Women Want, his pet project The Passion Of The Christ, the creepy thriller Signs and even a flick for kids (he was the voice of the rooster in Chicken Run).

You've got to imagine that if famous-in-her-own-right Winona Ryder was on the receiving end of an "oven dodger" joke, there's no way she was the only celebrity who knew about Mel's bigotry. So why has this former Sexiest Man Alive's dirty secret gone barely mentioned for years and years?

Mel Gibson Called Jews 'Oven Dodgers,' Winona Ryder Says [Radar Online]