Comedian and talk show host Jon Stewart has clarified his comments about the alleged anti-Semitic elements in Harry Potter novels and movies. He said his comments were said in a light-hearted manner and stated that he does not believe what he said.
In a video statement posted to his Twitter handle, he said: “I don’t think JK Rowling is anti-Semitic. I didn’t accuse her of being anti-Semitic. I don’t think the Harry Potter movies are anti-Semitic. I really like the Harry Potter movies, probably too much for a gentleman my decent age.”
Stewart added: “I can’t stress this enough. I’m not accusing JK Rowling of being anti-Semitic. She doesn’t have to answer it. I don’t want the ‘Harry Potter’ movies censored in any way. It was a lighthearted conversation. Get the damn grip.”
Newsweek et al can eat my ass. pic.twitter.com/eRoYYeNRi1
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) January 5, 2022
Earlier a clip from his accompanying podcast Apple On the TV show The Problem with Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart compared the scenes from the Gringotts wizard bank in Harry Potter books and movies to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic text from the early 20th century. Filled with anti-Semitic canards, the lyrics were taught to German schoolchildren in the 1930s, when the Nazis came to power.
Stewart had pointed out the similarities between the depiction of Jews in the text and the Goblin bankers in Gringotts. He now says that publications have given the comments a needlessly controversial twist.
“That’s how you know the Jews are still where they are. When I talk to people, I say, have you ever seen a ‘Harry Potter’ movie? Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank? Do you know what those people are who run the bank? Jews! And they’re like, ‘Oh, [that illustration is] from Harry Potter!’ And you say, “No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an anti-Semitic piece of literature.” JK Rowling said, ‘Can we let these guys run our bank?’ It’s a wizarding world… we can ride dragons, you can have an owl as a pet… but who should run the bank? Jews. But what if the teeth were sharper?” he said.