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Jon Stewart Insists Harry Potter Franchise Isn’t ‘Antisemitic’ As He Clarifies Previous Comments

Hannah Smith


Jon Stewart Insists Harry Potter Franchise Isn't ‘Antisemitic’ As He Clarifies Previous CommentsAlamy

Jon Stewart has said he does not think JK Rowling is antisemitic after comments he made about the Harry Potter series went viral.

In a clip posted to social media, the former Daily Show host accused news outlets of reporting ‘ridiculously out-of-context nonsense’, and said he had not been calling for the films to be censored ‘in any way’.


The clarification comes after the comedian raised scenes in the books and films that depict goblins running the wizard bank Gringotts and argued that the characters resembled antisemitic tropes found in other literature.

Gringotts goblins (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

‘Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank? Do you know what those folks who run the bank are? Jews!’ he said during the episode, adding, ‘They’re like, ‘Oh, that’s from Harry Potter!’ And you’re like, ‘No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an anti-Semitic piece of literature’.’

Stewart’s comments, which were made during an episode of his podcast The Problem with Jon Stewart, were taken by many as an accusation of antisemitism, however he denied that this was the case, saying he instead had been attempting to point out ‘how some tropes are so embedded in society that they’re basically invisible even in a considered process like movie-making’.


He said:

I do not think JK Rowling is antisemitic. 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 JK Rowling of being antisemitic. She need not answer to any of it.

Stewart’s clarification followed a statement by the Campaign Against Antisemitism defending Rowling as ‘a tireless defender of the Jewish community’ and explaining the portrayal of the Gringotts goblins as ‘the product of centuries of associations of Jews with grotesque and malevolent creatures in folklore, as well as money and finance.’


A representative for Rowling told Sky News that the author would not be commenting on the controversy.

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Topics: Film and TV, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Now


Jon Stewart/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Jon Stewart/Twitter


  2. Sky News

    Jon Stewart insists 'I do not think JK Rowling is antisemitic' following Harry Potter comments

Hannah Smith
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