DAVID NG Jon Stewart launched a broadside against the Harry Potter novels and movies, claiming in a recent episode of his podcast that they are “anti-semitic” because the goblin characters who run the fictional Gringotts Wizarding Bank are actually caricatures of Jews.
— raf (@rafaelshimunov) January 3, 2022
Stewart also accused author J.K. Rowling of embracing anti-semitic stereotypes. But his accusations met immediate pushback from those who said the comparisons are unfounded and that Stewart, who recently kicked off his new Apple TV+ series, is looking for easy publicity.
“Sometimes a goblin is just a goblin,” said Dave Rich, a frequent writer and commentator on anti-semitism on the political left.
Jon Stewart made his accusations against Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling in an episode of “The Problem with Jon Stewart.”
“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” said Stewart, brandishing a copy of the anti-semitic book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
“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?’
In the podcast, Stewart argued the Harry Potter world features fantastical creatures but when it came to “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 shit, she [Rowling] did not, in a wizarding world, just throw Jews in there to run the fucking underground bank,’” he said. “And everybody was just like, ‘Wizards!’ It was so weird.”
The scene in question appears in the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone (2001).
Stewart’s accusations prompted swift pushback from those who disputed the claims of anti-semitism, including some, who like Stewart, are Jewish.
What people should be thinking is why does Jon Stewart automatically believes Jews run the banks?
— Steve Brookstein (@stevebrookstein) January 5, 2022
I just don’t see this.
Might it be that @jk_rowling isn’t remotely antisemitic, and that her banker goblins are not “clearly based” on Jewish caricatures at all?
Is it more likely that @jonstewart is intent on finding a parasitic self-aggrandising grievance under every cornflake? https://t.co/SqKGmbYgLK
— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) January 4, 2022
Nah. It’s not anti-Semitism. It’s a distraction to beat on and cancel JK Rowling because she is saying compelling things about transgender individuals.
— Josh Eisen (@JoshEisen17) January 5, 2022
Sometimes a goblin is just a goblin.
— Dave Rich (@daverich1) January 5, 2022