Mel Gibson is as well known for starring in hits like Mad Max, Braveheart and Lethal Weapon as he is for his unhinged 2006 rant where, after being stopped by a traffic cop while drunk driving, he responded with: “F**king Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?” Thus began a long process of image rehabilitation, somewhat derailed by a 2010 incident in which he told the mother of his child that if she was “raped by a pack of n****rs” she would be to blame.
Despite all that, Gibson’s career rumbles on, with Hacksaw Ridge getting him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Next up for him is a long-in-development sequel to The Passion of the Christ and a World War II movie called Destroyer. But now he’s back in the news for being insanely racist again, and this time with a side order of homophobia.
Recently, Stranger Things and The Plot Against America star Winona Ryder recalled comments that Gibson made at a party a few years back. Ryder is Jewish and was asked by an interviewer if she’d experienced anti-semitism while working in Hollywood, and here’s what she said:
“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?'”
Ryder, who has family that died in the Holocaust, has told versions of this story before and also said that Gibson “tried” to apologize to her at a later date (though his representatives are currently claiming that the story is “100% untrue”). This isn’t the only time the actor has gotten in hot water for allegedly calling Jews “oven dodgers” though, as screenwriter Joe Eszterhas said Gibson used the phrase (as well as “hebes” and “Jewboys”) while they were working on a script for their cancelled movie about the Maccabees.
So, will this finally tank Mel Gibson‘s career? Probably not. It’s not like him being a rampant anti-semite is hot news and his continued success is proof that the supposed ‘cancel culture’ isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
Seth Rogen probably had the best response to all this, saying on Twitter that:
“I’m only surprised by Mel Gibson’s “oven dodger” comment because it acknowledges the Holocaust actually happened.”
I guess that’s the thinnest of silver linings, but I’ll take it.