Jon Stewart Clarifies His ‘Harry Potter’ Criticism: “I Do Not Think J.K. Rowling Is Anti-Semitic”

Jon Stewart is clarifying his comments criticizing J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter franchise.

Previously, the former Daily Show host made headlines by calling out the fantasy franchise’s goblin banker characters as resembling Jewish caricatures and specifically made it sound as though Rowling deliberately based the characters on anti-Semitic tropes.

On Wednesday, he took to social media to declare, “I do not think J.K. Rowling is anti-Semitic. I did not accuse her of being anti-Semitic. I do not think the Harry Potter movies are anti-Semitic. I really love the Harry Potter movies, probably too much for a gentleman of my considerable age … I cannot stress this enough. I am not accusing J.K. Rowling of being anti-Semitic. She need not answer to any of it. I don’t want the Harry Potter movies censored in any way. It was a lighthearted conversation. Get a fucking grip!”

Stewart’s comments date back to a Dec. 16 episode of his podcast, The Problem With Jon Stewart. His show had released his comments in a promo clip on YouTube (below) titled “The Problem with Goblins: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & Jews” that was labeled “Anti-Semitic Tropes.”

“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” Stewart said in the clip. “Talking to people, here’s what I say: Have you ever seen a Harry Potter movie? … Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank? … Do you know what those folks who run the bank are? … Jews!”

He pointed out how the goblins resemble an illustration in the 1903 anti-Semitic book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

“And they’re like, ‘Oh, [that illustration is] from Harry Potter!’ And you’re like, ‘No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an anti-Semitic piece of literature.’ J.K. Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’ … It’s a wizarding world … we can ride dragons, you can have a pet owl … but who should run the bank? Jews, … but what if the teeth were sharper?”

Stewart continued: “It was one of those things where I saw it on the screen and I was expecting the crowd to be like, ‘Holy shit, [Rowling] did not, in a wizarding world, just throw Jews in there to run the fucking underground bank. And everybody was just like, ‘Wizards.’ It was so weird.”

(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter

Jon Stewart Clarifies His ‘Harry Potter’ Criticism: “I Do Not Think J.K. Rowling Is Anti-Semitic”

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