Movie star Mel Gibson has been criticised by Jewish groups after it emerged he once labelled Winona Ryder an ‘oven dodger’.
Gibson is alleged to have said the derogatory phrase when talking the actress at a party 15 years ago.
In an interview with GQ, Ryder said: “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.”
‘Oven dodger’ is a reference to the holocaust when six million people were killed as part of Adolf Hitler’s quest for the Final Solution.
His vile phrase has been slammed by the Anti-Defamation League, who called Gibson a bigot.
Abraham H Foxman, national director of the ADL said: “Once a bigot is always a bigot. It is clear that Mel Gibson’s bigotry is not of recent vintage, that it’s been part of him for a long time. And when he loses his inhibitions, it comes out.
“In all my years at ADL, I have never heard of anyone using the term ‘oven dodgers’ – this may be a new contribution to the anti-Semitic lexicon – I guess nobody should be surprised that it is coming from Mel Gibson.”
The Oscar-winning actor and director has been criticised in the past for a range of anti-semitic while his hugely controversial father Hutton Gibson has questioned historical accounts of the holocaust.
It rounds up another incident-packed year for the Braveheart star, who has been going through an awkward divorce and recently crashed his Maserati in Malibu.
Ryder, who was born Winona Horowitz, is half Jewish and previously revealed she lost relatives during the holocaust.