Jon Stewart denies accusing JK Rowling’s portrayal of Gringotts goblins in Harry Potter of being ‘antisemitic’

Jon Stewart has clarified his views on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Gringotts goblins and antisemitism.

The former Daily Show host made headlines this week for a dialogue on his podcast in regards to the goblins who run the Gringotts financial institution in the Harry Potter books and movies.

Stewart, who’s Jewish, had in contrast the goblins to the antisemitic illustrations featured in the 1903 e book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

“Have you ever seen a Harry Potter movie? Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank? Do you know what those folks that run the bank are? Jews!.. 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,’” Stewart had mentioned.

“JK Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’ You’re like, ‘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?”

In a brand new video shared on Twitter, Stewart expressed his shock over the response to his “lighthearted conversation” and mentioned he doesn’t consider Rowling is antisemitic.

“I cannot stress this enough: I am not accusing JK Rowling of being antisemitic,” he mentioned. “She need not answer to any of it. I don’t want the Harry Potter movies censored in any way.”

“I really love the Harry Potter movies,” he insisted.

Stewart condemned the media’s reporting on the feedback, singling out the Newsweek headline “Jon Stewart Accuses JK Rowling of Antisemitism in Harry Potter”.

“And now all the s***heads pile into this ridiculously out of context nonsense that you put out there,” Stewart mentioned. “Get a f***ing grip.”

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Before Stewart denied calling Rowling antisemitic, the Campaign Against Antisemitism had come to Rowling’s defence, saying “the portrayal of the goblins in the Harry Potter series is of a piece with their portrayal in Western literature as a whole” and calling the author a “tireless defender of the Jewish community in its fight against antisemitism”.

The Independent has contacted Rowling’s representatives for remark.

In 2020, Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson introduced consideration to the goblin characters in Rowling’s books.

He criticised the creator for placing “little giant-nosed Jew goblins” in cost of the wizarding financial institution.

“And I can say that because, as you can see, I’m half-goblin,” the comic joked.

In 2018, Rowling was dubbed “one of the staunchest allies of the Jews” by the Jewish feminist publication Hey Alma, after the British creator started calling antisemitism out on-line amid rising intolerance in the UK.

Rowling was featured final week in the Harry Potter reunion, Return to Hogwarts, by way of archive interviews from 2019.

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