Jon Stewart Clarifies: “I Do Not Think J.K. Rowling Is Anti-Semitic” – Update

Jon Stewart

UPDATED, 12:45 PM: Jon Stewart took to social media today to clarify his podcast comments about the goblins of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

“I do not think J.K. Rowling is anti-Semitic,” Stewart said in a video he shared today on social media (watch it below). “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.”

On a recent episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart, he had drawn parallels between the Harry Potter goblins and anti-Semitic caricatures in the anti-Semitic book The Protocols of The Elders of Zion.

Today, Stewart rejected the idea that he was accusing Rowling of anti-Semitism. 

“I cannot stress this enough,” he said. “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 f*cking grip.”

PREVIOUSLY JAN. 4: Jon Stewart has a bone to pick with the Harry Potter series.

On his podcast The Problem with Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host didn’t hold back on his feelings about the anti-Semitic tropes present in Harry Potter. With the most recent episode, Stewart addresses author J.K Rowling’s use of anti-Semitic caricatures in her books.

The reference for his argument lies in the 1903 book The Protocols of The Elders of Zion, which is known as anti-Semitic text. The book features characters that bear resemblance to the goblin creatures in the Harry Potter books.

“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” said Stewart, who is Jewish. “I just want to show you a caricature. And they’re like, ‘Oh, look at that, that’s 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?’ ” Stewart said.

He adds that in the world of Harry Potter, people “can ride dragons and someone can own a pet owl,” yet he wondered: “Who should run the bank? Jews.

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

On The Harry Potter Wiki, the goblin creatures are magical, intelligent and good with money. 

“Goblins converse in a language known as Gobbledegook and are adept metalsmiths notable for their silverwork; they even mint coins for wizarding currency,” reports the Wiki page. “Due to their skills with money and finances, they control the wizarding economy to a large extent and run Gringotts Wizarding Bank.”

Here is a clip of Stewart discussing his thoughts:

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