While “Harry Potter” fans spent the holiday break celebrating the 20th anniversary reunion special that debuted on HBO Max on New Year’s Day, Jon Stewart singled out a problem with the franchise that’s hard to unhear.
A December episode of “The Problem With Jon Stewart” podcast picked up steam over the last few days, as Stewart in the episode called out an “anti-Semitic” portrayal of Jews in the franchise in the form of the goblins who run Gringotts bank.
“Here’s how you know Jews are still where they are,” Stewart began. “Talking to people I say, ‘Have you ever seen a ‘Harry Potter’ movie?’ and people are all like, ‘Oh, I love the ‘Harry Potter’ movies!’ and I’m like, ‘Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank?’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, I love Gringotts Bank’ and I’m like, ‘Do you know what those folks who run the bank are?’ and they’re like, ‘What?’ and I’m like, ‘Jews.’”
Stewart continued, comparing the portrayal of the goblins to caricatures of Jews. “Let me show you this from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, 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 anti-Semitic piece of literature.’ J.K. Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’ and you’re like, ‘It’s a wizarding world. It’s a world where the train station has a half a thing and no one can see it and we can ride dragons and you’ve gotta pet owls. Who’s gonna run the bank? Jews?”
Stewart added, “They look like Jews but what if the teeth were sharper?”
The former “Daily Show” host then explained that he immediately picked up on the troublesome portrayal when seeing the first “Harry Potter” movie in theaters, but felt like he was in a horror movie when no one else felt the same.
“It reminded me of those horror movies where everyone’s been taken over by the thing but you haven’t so you’re looking around and every time someone sees you they go, ‘Ah!’ 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—-ing underground bank,’ and everybody was just like, ‘Wizards!’”
Stewart’s observation concluded with, “Even Dobby was like, ‘That’s f—ed up.’”
Check out Stewart’s full observations in the video above.