Jon Stewart Slams Headlines He Accused J.K. Rowling Of Anti-Semitism Over Depiction Of Goblins In ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central/(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Jon Stewart slammed headlines that claimed he called out author J.K. Rowling for using anti-Semitic tropes with the depiction of the goblins in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise.

Stewart called the headlines “bonkers” in a video shared to his Twitter account Wednesday. In the video clip, he said his comments about the characters’ depiction happened during a “lighthearted conversation” among “colleagues and chums” having a “larf.”

The former late-night host said it was also about his impression of watching “Harry Potter” the first time as a Jewish man and about how some “tropes” are so “embedded” in society that they are “basically invisible,” even in the movie-making process.


“Hello, my name is Jon Stewart,” he said in the clip. “I do not think J.K. Rowling is anti-Semitic. I did not accuse her of being anti-Semitic. I do not think that the ‘Harry Potter’ movies are anti-Semitic. I really love the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, probably too much for a gentlemen of my considerable age.”

“I don’t want the ‘Harry Potter’ movies censored in any way,” Stewart added. “Get a fucking grip.” (RELATED: Report: J.K. Rowling To Appear In ‘Harry Potter’ Reunion Special Amid Backlash Against Author By Trans Activists)

The former TV host’s original comments about the Gringotts Bank goblins in the popular movies were made during a December episode of his podcast, “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”


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

The former late-night host reportedly said that the goblins resembled illustrations of Jews from a 1903 anti-Semitic book called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” (RELATED: ‘Harry Potter’ Star Robbie Coltrane Defends J.K. Rowling Trans Comments, Slams ‘Twitter Generation’ Waiting ‘To Be Offended’)

“And they’re like, ‘Oh, look at that [illustration], that’s from Harry Potter!’ And you’re like, ‘No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an anti-Semitic piece of literature,'” Jon went on to say. “J.K. Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’ … It’s a wizarding world, it’s a world where the train station has a half a thing and no one can see it, we can ride dragons, and you’ve got a pet owl … Who should run the bank? Jews … but what if the teeth were sharper?”

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