Jon Stewart took to social media to correct a viral news story about his feelings toward the depiction of goblins in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” franchise. A clip from Stewart’s “The Problem with Jon Stewart” podcast published in December 2021 went viral this week for drawing a comparison between the “Harry Potter” goblins depicted and the antisemitic illustrations featured in the 1903 book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Stewart refuted that he was accusing Rowling of antisemitism and said his original takedown of the goblins was all in lighthearted fun.
“I do not think J.K. Rowling is antisemitic. I did not accuse her of being antisemitic,” Stewart said. “I do not think the ‘Harry Potter’ movies are antisemitic. 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 antisemitic,” Stewart added. “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 clarified that his original discussion about the “Harry Potter” goblins was “a lighthearted conversation amongst colleagues and chums” about what it was like first watching the “Harry Potter” movies as a Jewish man. Stewart brought up the look of the goblins to talk about “how some tropes are so embedded in society that they’re basically invisible, even in a considered process like moviemaking.”
On the December podcast episode, Stewart said, “Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are. 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! 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 antisemitic 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?”
Watch Stewart’s full clarification in the video below.
Newsweek et al, may eat my ass. pic.twitter.com/eRoYYeNRi1
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) January 5, 2022