JK Rowling: Expert on reaction to Harry Potter getting published
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JK Rowling has been slammed by the Emmy award-winning host Jon Stewart. The former host of The Daily Show, who is Jewish, has claimed that he believed the Gringotts Bank goblins in Harry Potter are depicted as Jewish “caricatures” in the series.
The former host of The Daily Show raised the issue on the December 16 episode of his podcast, The Problem with Jon Stewart.
The presenter questioned why the Harry Potter author chose to “throw Jews in there to run the f***ing underground bank” in a fictional world where people “can ride dragons and have pet owls”.
The 59-year-old claimed that the depiction perpetuates anti-Jew stereotypes and referenced the similarities between the books’ goblin creatures and an illustration from an antisemitic text, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, published in 1903.
Stewart suggested that most Harry Potter fans were unaware of the reference, while he expressed confusion over the lack of outrage over the Gringotts’ goblin bankers in the movies.
“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” he began.
“I just want to show you a caricature. 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,’” the Emmy winning host explained.
He added: “In a world where ‘you can have a pet owl’ and ‘we can ride dragons’, JK Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?'”
Rowling’s representatives declined to comment when approached by Express.co.uk.
In 2020, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson expressed similar frustrations as Stewart.
In the Harry Potter books and movies, he said, “the woods are controlled by centaurs, the schools are run by wizards and ghosts, but who controls the banks… Jews obviously—little giant-nosed Jew Goblins”.
“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 that aired on 10 October 2020.
Rowling was branded “one of the staunchest allies of Jews” by the Jewish feminist publication Hey Alma in 2018.
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It comes after the British author began calling out antisemitism online.
Stewart’s comments come after Rowling has already faced accusations of transphobia after she addressed an article in June 2020 which used the words “people who menstruate” instead of “women”.
Meanwhile, Rowling was featured in the Harry Potter reunion, Return to Hogwarts, which aired last week.
She did not make an appearance but archived interviews of the author were used instead.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts was created to honour the franchise’s 20th anniversary and sees main characters Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and director Chris Columbus discuss the films.
According to reports, Rowling is believed to have turned down taking part in the HBO special.
It was mentioned that her remarks concerning gender and transgender individuals had nothing to do with her choice not to be part of the reunion.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts is available to watch on Sky and streaming on Sky NOW.
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