A recent episode of the late-night show host’s podcast, The Problem with Jon Stewart, made headlines for his comments on the Gringotts Bank goblins, which he believes are depicted as Jewish “caricatures” in the series.
News articles - including the one he picked out from Newsweek - quoted his discussion about the banker goblin characters who run the Gringotts Wizarding Bank in the beloved franchise.
In it, he said: “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**king underground bank.”
“This is bonkers, guys. A month ago I recorded one of the podcasts ... we were bullsh***ing about all kinds of stuff,” said Stewart, who is Jewish.
“There is no reasonable person who could have watched it and not seen it as a light-hearted conversation.”
The clip itself was posted alongside the message: “Newsweek et al, may eat my ass.”
He said he was highlighting that anti-semitic tropes even appear in “considered processes like movie-making” - and joked that he made the comments “two Covid mutations ago”.
“I wake up [on Wednesday] and it’s trending on Twitter, and here’s the headline from Newsweek: ‘Jon Stewart accuses JK Rowling of anti-semitism’.
“Let me just say this, as super clearly as I can: ‘Hello, my name is Jon Stewart, I do not think JK Rowling is anti-semitic, I really love the Harry Potter movies, so I would just like to say none of that is true’.
“Let me say this instead to Newsweek: ‘Your business model is f***ing arson. And not the good kind.