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Jon Stewart denies 'accusing J.K. Rowling of being anti-Semitic' after Harry Potter goblins comments

Jon Stewart wants to clarify his take on the goblins in Harry Potter. 

The former Daily Show host went viral this week for a discussion on his podcast last month about the goblins who run the Gringotts bank in the Harry Potter films, with Stewart suggesting author J.K. Rowling employed anti-Semitic caricatures. "It's a wizarding world," Stewart said. "...And who should run the bank? Jews." In a new video shared on Twitter, though, Stewart expressed surprise that the "lighthearted conversation" prompted widespread news coverage — including by The Week — and he clarified he doesn't believe Rowling is anti-Semitic. 

"I cannot stress this enough: I am not accusing J.K. Rowling of being anti-Semitic," Stewart said. "She need not answer to any of it. I don't want the Harry Potter movies censored in any way."

Stewart, who said "I really love the Harry Potter movies," also slammed the media for its reporting on the comments, particularly singling out the headline "Jon Stewart Accuses J.K. Rowling of Antisemitism in Harry Potter" from Newsweek. "And now all the s---heads pile into this ridiculously out of context nonsense that you put out there," Stewart complained, adding, "Get a f---ing grip!" 

Prior to Stewart's clarification, the Campaign Against Antisemitism came to Rowling's defense, saying the "portrayal of the goblins in the Harry Potter series is of a piece with their portrayal in Western literature as a whole" and calling the author a "tireless defender of the Jewish community in its fight against antisemitism." Dave Rich, director of policy for the Jewish charity Community Security Trust, also argued to The Hollywood Reporter, "I think in this case, her goblins are just goblins."