Jon Stewart Walks Back Antisemitism Accusations Against ‘Harry Potter’ and J.K. Rowling

Jon Stewart
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Jon Stewart has walked back his claims that the Harry Potter books and movies are antisemitic following intense social media blowback.

He said his comments were meant to be light-hearted and were taken out of context. “Newsweek et al, may eat my ass,” Stewart tweeted, referring to the news outlets that covered his earlier comments.

In the latest installment of his podcast, Jon Stewart attempted to set the record straight and perhaps allay the concerns of his lawyers, too.

“I do not think 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,” he said.

Watch below:

Stewart said any “reasonable” person would have understood his comments were meant to be light-hearted.

The former Daily Show host saved his harshest words for Newsweek. “Your business model is fucking arson, and not the good kind, where they light stuff and control it to prevent forest fires in the future,” he said.

As Breitbart News reported, Stewart claimed in an older podcast episode that the goblin characters in Harry Potter who run the fictional Gringotts Wizarding Bank are actually caricatures of Jews, comparing them to the imagery found in the antisemitic book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

“I just want to show you a caricature,” Stewart said, referring to the Zion book. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, look at that, 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?’ ”

Later in the episode, 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 shit, she [Rowling] 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.”

Watch below:

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