Mel Gibson will not be asked to in Netflix’s highly anticipated Chicken Run sequel following renewed allegations of anti-Semitic comments levelled against him by actress Winona Ryder, according to reports.
In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, Ryder claimed that the Braveheart star had asked her if she was an “oven dodger” at a party around 25 years ago, in an apparent reference to her Jewish background.
She told the publication “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?'”
The Stranger Things star, 48, also said Gibson, 64, had tried to apologise to her at a later date.
However, a representative of Gibson said the claims are “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 representative insists his client “did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him.”
In her response to Gibson’s denial, Ryder named the friend she was with at the time of the alleged incident as the late makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin and said the altercation remains a “painful and vivid memory”.
She said: “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 behaviour in this life, can we make amends and truly respect each other, and I wish him well on this lifelong journey.”
Ryder, who first accused Gibson in an interview with GQ magazine in 2010, suggesting Gibson was referencing the gas chambers used by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
In 2006, Gibson was recorded delivering a controversial anti-Semitic rant after a drink-driving arrest.
He returned to directing for the first time in 10 years with 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, about the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honour in World War II.
Sources with knowledge of the production told TheWrap Gibson “is not expected to be asked back for the sequel” of Chicken Run.
Production is scheduled to begin next year, according to Netflix.
In the original Chicken Run from 2000, Gibson voiced the character of Rocky, a Rhode Island Red who helped his fellow fowls fly their coop before it could be turned into a chicken pie factory.