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Jon Stewart calls out JK Rowling for “anti-Semitic” goblin caricatures in 'Harry Potter'

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Jon Stewart has accused JK Rowling of using anti-Semitic imagery in the Harry Potter film series.

  • READ MORE: 20 ways Harry Potter changed the world

Speaking on his podcast The Problem With Jon Stewart (December 16), the US comedian, who is Jewish, claimed the goblins that run Gringotts bank are based on caricatures of Jews from anti-semitic text The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion.

“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” Stewart said. “Talking to people, what I say is, ‘Have you ever seen a Harry Potter movie? Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts bank? Do you know what those folk that run the bank are? Jews!’”

Speaking about people reluctant to acknowledge the resemblance, Stewart added: “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.’ JK Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’”

Stewart said he expected other cinemagoers to notice the resemblance when he saw the first film, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.

“I was expecting the crowd to be like ‘Holy shit, she did not, in a wizarding world, just throw Jews in there to run the fucking underground bank.’” And everybody was just like, ‘Wizards’. It was so weird,” Stewart said.

Sarah Silverman has also responded to Stewart’s comments on Twitter, writing: “I’ve actually never seen Harry Potter and after watching the below and then seeing the clip in the thread I am just kind of stunned.

“You know when you giggle but it’s really more fear than joy?”

Back in 2020, Pete Davidson similarly criticised the “little giant-nosed Jew goblins” in the Harry Potter franchise on Saturday Night Live. “I can say that, because as you can see I’m half-goblin,” Davidson said.

JK Rowling has been accused of being transphobic in recent years, which is believed to have led to the author’s absence in the Harry Potter 20th anniversary special Return To Hogwarts.

The controversy first began in 2020, when the author was criticised for a series of “anti-trans” tweets after she called out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”.

Many actors from the franchise have spoken out against the author, including Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.

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