AceShowbiz - Jon Stewart has been a fan of "Harry Potter" and he still is. The comedian has set things straight after reports claimed that he accused J. K. Rowling and her famous series of anti-Semitism with its portrayal of goblins.
On Wednesday, January 5, the former "The Daily Show" host addressed the matter in a video posted on his Instagram page. He denied accusing the British author of anti-Semitism, stressing that his comments were made lightheartedly.
"I do not think J.K. Rowling is anti-Semitic," Stewart said in the clip. "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."
"I cannot stress this enough," he continued. "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**king grip."
Stewart went on slamming a news outlet which ran the story about his previous comments on the "Harry Potter" series. "So let me say this instead to Newsweek. Your business model is f**king arson. And not the good kind…," he angrily said.
"And now all the s**t heads pile into this ridiculously out of context nonsense that you put out there," he added. "The internet economy is f**ked. You have no idea how this thing is taken off. It makes you not want to say anything."
Previously, in a recent podcast tied to his AppleTV+ podcast "The Problem with Jon Stewart", the 59-year-old drew parallels between the goblin creatures in the "Harry Potter" series to characters in the 1903 book The Protocols of "The Elders of Zion", which is known as anti-Semitic text.
"Here's how you know Jews are still where they are," he explained to his guests. "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! ' "
He continued sharing, "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?' 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?"
"It was one of those things where I saw it on the screen and I was expecting the crowd to be like, 'Holy ****, [Rowling] did not, in a wizarding world, just throw Jews in there to run the f**king underground bank. And everybody was just like, 'Wizards.' It was so weird," Stewart, who is Jew, said.
However, on Wednesday, the Campaign Against Antisemitism defended Rowling and her works, noting in a statement that "the portrayal of the goblins in the 'Harry Potter' series is of a piece with their portrayal in Western literature as a whole." The organization claimed, "It is the product of centuries of association with Jews with grotesque and malevolent creatures in folklore, as well as money and finance."
"The mythological associations have become so ingrained in the Western mind that their provenance no longer registers with creators or consumers," the U.K.-based organization argued, noting that any similarity between Rowling's goblins and anti-Semitic illustrations "is a testament more to centuries of Christendom's antisemitism than it is to malice by contemporary artists."
In the "Harry Potter" series, goblins are depicted as magical creatures who are intelligent and good with money. According to the "Harry Potter" wiki, "Due to their skills with money and finances, they control the wizarding economy to a large extent and run Gringotts Wizarding Bank."