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 now on the YouTube channel for his Apple TV+ collection, The Problem With Jon Stewart, the host revisited the dialog he initially had on a Dec. 1 podcast with employees 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 critical. “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 beneath:
Leave it to Jon Stewart to level out one other downside 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 collection — the previous Daily Show host referred to as consideration to what he considers to be antisemitic caricatures in each the Potter novels and their function 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 employees writers, Jay Jurden and Henrik Blix, on the Dec. 1 podcast, Stewart referred to 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 can be nonetheless glimpsed in racist propaganda right now. 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 mentioned. “And everybody was just like: ‘Wizards!'”
In his Twitter thread, Shimunov shared the scene that Stewart might 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 referred to as consideration to the “Jewish stars” that allegedly seem on the financial institution within the first movie and have been ignored of future installments.
The scene Jon Stewart is referencing was shared by me in 2018, when Rowling was smearing the left as antisemites and solely starting to embrace her notorious anti trans views. Harry walks over a financial institution adorned with Jewish Stars, to grasping Goblins aspect locks.pic.twitter.com/fZHMHf85h7
— raf (@rafaelshimunov) January 3, 2022
While Rowling has but to answer Stewart’s newly viral feedback, her agent, Neil Blair, referred to as the costs “Total and utter bs” in his personal Twitter submit.
Total and utter bs. @jk_rowling hasn’t an antisemitic bone in her physique. Quite the other IN FACT (an idea out of style as of late). @JonStewart ought to apologise for his ignorant, false and hurtful smear. Sometimes I really feel that the entire world has gone mad.. https://t.co/e9HP46uVIW
— Neil Blair (@NeilBlairTBP) January 4, 2022
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 latest 20th anniversary particular, Return to Hogwarts — has been underneath 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 costs of antisemitism.
I’ve really by no means seen Harry Potter and after watching the beneath after which seeing the clip within the thread I’m simply form of surprised. You know once you giggle however it’s actually extra fear than pleasure? https://t.co/regNsfbfjX
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahOkSilverman) January 4, 2022
Ok, so apparently I wasn’t the one child at 16 seeing the unique and pondering “wait, are they going with nazi caricature jews run the bank? Wtf?” On the opposite hand I began getting STEAMED over that home elf bs.
— Sera (@Sera60942873) January 4, 2022
The Problem With Jon Stewart is at present streaming on Apple TV+.