Jon Stewart Denies He Accused J.K. Rowling Of Anti-Semitism: ‘Get A Grip’

Jon Stewart took to social media to clarify that, despite media reports saying otherwise, he wasn't accusing J.K. Rowling of being anti-semitic during his criticism about the goblins in 'Harry Potter.'

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Jon Stewart; J.K. Rowling
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Image Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock / Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

Jon Stewart denied that he recently accused Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling of anti-semitism. The former The Daily Show host, 59, got himself roped into some Harry Potter-related drama during a December 2021 episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart, when he criticized the film franchise’s goblins. Jon said that scenes involving the goblins, who run the magical bank Gringotts, were similar to antisemitic illustrations that appear in the 1903 book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

After some time passed, Jon’s comments went viral and he was accused of calling J.K., 56, anti-semitic by several media outlets. This didn’t sit well with Jon, and so he released a Twitter video on Wednesday, January 5 to deny those allegations.

“I do not think J.K. Rowling is antisemitic,” Jon said in the video, which can be seen above. “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.” The former stand-up comedian went on to clarify that his comments about the Harry Potter goblins were purely “light-hearted.” He added, “I cannot stress this enough. I am not accusing J.K. Rowling of being antisemitic. She need not answer to any of it. I don’t want the Harry Potter movies censored in any way. It was a lighthearted conversation. Get a f***ing grip.”

Jon Stewart; J.K. Rowling
Jon Stewart; J.K. Rowling (Photo: Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock / Gregory Pace/Shutterstock)

Jon’s comments about Harry Potter were originally made on the Dec. 16 episode of his Apple TV+ series. A clip from the conversation was released by the show, titled, “The Problem With Goblins: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & Jews.” Jon said in the clip, “Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are. 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’s] from Harry Potter!’ And you’re like, ‘No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an antisemitic piece of literature.’ 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?” Jon added, “It was one of those things where I saw it on the screen and I was expecting the crowd to be like, ‘Holy shit, [J.K.] 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.”

As Harry Potter fans know, J.K. Rowling has faced criticism for comments deemed transphobic. She previously took to Twitter to support Maya Forstate, a researcher in England who was fired for sending tweets that equated sex to gender. J.K. later doubled down on this stance and even dismissed the notion that trans men also menstruate. Her comments were condemned by Harry Potter stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne, and more. She ultimately did not appear in HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special.