Jon Stewart says that J.Ok. Rowling included antisemitic caricatures in ‘Harry Potter’ in newly viral clip [Updated]

UPDATED Jan. 5: Jon Stewart has forcefully responded to the social media firestorm that his feedback about antisemitic caricatures in J.Ok. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise set off. In a video posted earlier right this moment on the YouTube channel for his Apple TV+ sequence, The Problem With Jon Stewart, the host revisited the dialog he initially had on a Dec. 1 podcast with workers writers Jay Jurden and Henrik Blix, which went newly viral after it was reposted on Twitter on Jan. 2 by activist Rafael Shimunov.

“There is no reasonable person who could have watched it and not seen it as a lighthearted conversation amongst colleagues and chums,” Stewart says within the new video. “I do not think that J.K. Rowling is antisemitic. I did not accuse her of being antisemitic. 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.” 

Stewart additionally chastises media organizations — most notably Newsweek — for turning that lighthearted dialog into one thing extra severe. “Get a f****** grip,” he remarks, later including: “The internet economy is f*****. You have no idea how this thing has taken off. … I thought [the conversation] was f****** hilarious. It makes you want to not say anything.” 

Original story continues under:

Leave it to Jon Stewart to level out one other drawback with the more and more problematic legacy of J.Ok. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. On a Dec. 1 episode of The Problem With Jon Stewart podcast — an audio companion to his Apple TV+ present affairs sequence — the previous Daily Show host known as consideration to what he considers to be antisemitic caricatures in each the Potter novels and their characteristic movie diversifications. 

That portion of the podcast was posted on the present’s YouTube channel on Dec. 16, and is now going viral after being shared by activist Rafael Shimunov in a prolonged Twitter thread that feedback on the “antisemitic tropes” in Rowling’s work. 

Speaking with The Problem workers writers, Jay Jurden and Henrik Blix, on the Dec. 1 podcast, Stewart known as their consideration to the looks of the goblins who run the Wizarding World’s main monetary establishment, the Gringotts Wizarding Bank. “Talking to people, I was like … ‘Do you know what those folks that run the bank are? Jews!’ … That’s a caricature of a Jew from an antisemitic piece of literature and J.K. Rowling looked at that and went, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?'” 

Stewart was particularly referring to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a infamous antisemitic textual content that dates again to the early 20th century, and options flagrantly offensive Jewish caricatures which are nonetheless glimpsed in racist propaganda right this moment. Remembering his expertise watching the Harry Potter movies in theaters, Stewart says he was shocked to acknowledge related imagery in a serious studio blockbuster. 

“It was one of those things where I saw it on the screen, and I was expecting the crowd to be like ‘Holy s***, she did not — in a wizarding world — just throw Jews in there to run the f****** underground bank,'” Stewart stated. “And everybody was just like: ‘Wizards!'” 

In his Twitter thread, Shimunov shared the scene that Stewart could have been referencing, which appeared within the movie franchise’s first installment, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, directed by Chris Columbus. He additionally known as consideration to the “Jewish stars” that allegedly seem on the financial institution within the first movie and have been unnoticed of future installments. 

While Rowling has but to answer Stewart’s newly viral feedback, her agent, Neil Blair, known as the fees “Total and utter bs” in his personal Twitter put up. 

Stewart’s Dec. 1 feedback and Shimunov’s Jan. 2 Twitter thread have additional stirred a social media pot that is already boiling over with controversy about Rowling. The writer — who notably wasn’t invited to take part in HBO Max’s current 20th anniversary particular, Return to Hogwarts — has been below fireplace for her “anti-trans positions,” in addition to different stereotypes some really feel seem within the Potter novels. Comedian Sarah Silverman was among the many many who weighed in on Stewart’s expenses of antisemitism. 

The Problem With Jon Stewart is at present streaming on Apple TV+.

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