Jon Stewart Walks Back Harry Potter Comments, Says J.K. Rowling Not Anti-Semitic

Jon Stewart shot back at viral news coverage of comments he had made in an episode of his podcast “The Problem With Jon Stewart” about the anti-Semitic portrayal of goblins in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.

In a four-minute video captioned “Newsweek et al, may eat my ass,” Stewart clarified remarks he had made in the December 2021 episode, including comparing the goblins who run the Gringotts bank and anti-Semitic drawings featured in a 1903 book called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

In the new video, Stewart recounted having a “lighthearted conversation” about anti-Semitic stereotypes in film and the experience of watching the “Harry Potter” films “as a Jewish man” before clarifying his views on the author.


I do not think that J.K. Rowling is anti-Semitic,” said Stewart. “I did not accuse her of being anti-Semitic. 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.”

Later on, he added: “I cannot stress this enough. I am not accusing J.K. Rowling of being antisemitic. 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–ing grip.”

As for the goblins, Stewart insisted that their depiction reflects “how some tropes are so embedded in society that they’re basically invisible, even in a considered process like moviemaking.”

In the video, Stewart specifically called out Newsweek magazine, which published an article titled “Jon Stewart Accuses J.K. Rowling of Antisemitism in ‘Harry Potter’” on Tuesday. “Your business model is f–ing arson,” he said.

He reiterated his message at the end of the video by casting a made-up spell: “Let me say this right now to Newsweek magazine: Disperioso lamentoso!”

Watch the full video above.


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