Jon Stewart has a message to people who claimed he called JK Rowling anti-semitic: “Eat my ass”.

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.”

But while the conversation was correctly quoted, he did not accuse her directly of anti-semitism, which is what some headlines suggested.

On Wednesday afternoon he responded in a video posted to Twitter, and said he was pointing out a deeply embedded trope in society, rather than calling JK Rowling herself anti-semitic.

“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.

“Now all the sh**heads have piled into this ridiculously out-of-context nonsense. You used to mean something. You were my go-to at the airport when the kiosk was out of Time magazine.”

Jon Stewart - who is back on TV - recently shared a doom-laden prediction of Trump’s frighteningly good chances of winning in 2024.

In 2020, Saturday Night Live! star Pete Davidson criticised the author for putting “little giant-nosed Jew goblins” in charge of the wizarding bank.

“And I can say that because, as you can see, I’m half-goblin,” the comedian joked, during the “Weekend Update” segment on an SNL episode which aired on 10 October 2020.

The day-long chatter over alleged anti-semitic tropes in Harry Potter marks a rare moment in which the focus strayed from JK Rowling’s controversial views on trans people. A full timeline of her comments can be found here.

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