Jon Stewart has taken “Harry Potter” mogul J.K Rowling to task for what he believes to be anti-Semitic caricatures within the series.
On a December episode of his podcast “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” Stewart called out the goblins that run the Gringotts Wizarding Bank in the books and in the film series. He compared their physicality to anti-Semitic illustrations included in the 1903 book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” one of the most widely distributed anti-Jewish texts of all time.
“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” Stewart said on the episode. “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’! And you’re like, ‘No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an anti-Semitic piece of literature.’”
He added, “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?” (Via Variety.)
A “Harry Potter” wiki describes the goblins as skilled with “money and finances.”
“It was one of those things where I saw it on the screen and I was expecting the crowd to be like, ‘Holy shit, [Rowling] did not, in a wizarding world, just throw Jews in there to run the fucking underground bank,” Stewart continued. “And everybody was just like, ‘Wizards.’ It was so weird.”
J.K. Rowling, who featured in the HBO Max 20th anniversary “Harry Potter” reunion special only passingly, has been a fixture of controversy in the last couple of years due to the anti-trans comments she has repeatedly made on Twitter. Her remarks have been condemned by various cast members and “Harry Potter” affiliates, including Daniel Radcliffe.
“Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world,” the studio said in a statement at the time. “We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”
Rowling is credited as a producer on “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which is the third installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” spinoff series and set for release on April 15.
Watch the Jon Stewart clip below.
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