Some of the characters in Harry Potter, according to Jon Stewart, are anti-Semitic caricatures; once again raising a discussion about the book’s controversial author, JK Rowling.
Rowling has attracted a lot of controversy for years, especially after becoming the poster child of trans-exclusionary radical feminism.
Rowling has a reputation for having a poor understanding of the LGBT community, which has caused difficulties in her relationship with fans of her work and the work itself.
Rowling’s continuing online remarks, particularly as they relate to Rowling’s political opinions, have prompted some fans to boycott the Harry Potter series entirely.
Stewart’s comments put the show’s future in doubt, as fans re-watch those parts through a new perspective.
In a recent episode of Stewart’s podcast, The Problem with Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host revealed that he’s been critical of Rowling’s depiction of goblins in the Harry Potter series for a long time.
Professor Stewart noted numerous parallels between Rowling’s depictions of goblins and anti-Semitic depictions of Jews.
“Let me show you this, from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I just want to show you a caricature,” Stewart said in the podcast, recreating conversations he’s had over the years. Noting that people commonly believe the depictions shown in the 1903 book are from Harry Potter, Stewart goes on to point out, “No, that’s a caricature of a Jew from an anti-Semitic piece of literature.”
Activist Rafael Shimunov took to Twitter to say that Stewart “recently broke Hollywood’s complete silence on Rowling unapologetically maintaining antisemitic folklore through Harry Potter.”
— raf (@rafaelshimunov) January 3, 2022
It’s not hard to see why Stewart makes the comparison when viewing pictures from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The book’s Jewish characters are depicted as large-nosed, clawed gremlins with deformed or twisted bodies and enormous ears. The correlations between these photos and the representations of goblins in the Harry Potter franchise are plain to see.
And while they may seem superficial, there are considerable similarities between the two stories but they could have been avoided. As he points out in his segment, Harry Potter takes place “in a wizarding world,” in which characters can “ride dragons” and acquire a “pet owl.”
“And who runs the bank? Jews.”
While watching the scene, Stewart was shocked that no one else had noticed the goblins.
Stewart’s comments kicked off a much broader conversation that eventually led to the hashtag “Rowling” trending on Twitter in the early afternoon hours of January 4.
The most popular topic is currently taken up by individuals participating in a site-wide discussion about the several anti-Semitic and anti-black racist tropes found throughout Harry Potter.
What are your thoughts on Jon Stewart’s comments? Let us know!
About Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is an American comedian, director, writer, producer and television host. He spent 16 years as the anchor of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City to Marianne Evelyn “Mimi” (nee Levy), a teacher from Brooklyn, and Donald Leibowitz, who worked for an international company that imported clothing from France.