J.K. Rowling has long been criticized for perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes with her depiction of goblins in the Harry Potter book series. This is on the top of all the other things that she has been rightly called out for. The latest round of discourse came from Jon Stewart on a recent episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart podcast. “Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” he said. “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!”
That episode was posted about a month ago, but his comments have only recently gone viral — and Stewart is frustrated that they were taken out of context.
“There is no reasonable person that could have watched it and not seen it as a light-hearted conversation amongst colleagues and chums having a larf, enjoying ourselves, about Harry Potter and my experience watching it for the first time in a theater as a Jewish guy, and how some tropes are so embedded in society that they’re basically invisible, even in a considered process like movie making,” the former-Daily Show host said in a video posted to Twitter (you can watch it below).
At this point, Stewart leaned towards the camera to make his point as clearly as possible: “Hello, my name is Jon Stewart. I do not think J.K. Rowling is anti-Semitic. I did not accuse her of being anti-Semitic. I do not think the Harry Potter movies are anti-Semitic.” He also tweeted that Newsweek could, ahem, take PBR’s advice.