Jon Stewart slams J.K. Rowling's 'anti-Semitic' goblin banker depiction in Harry Potter
A Gringotts goblin, as portrayed in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (YouTube screenshot).

On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that comedian and former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart accused J.K. Rowling's of using anti-Semitic caricatures to depict the goblins in "Harry Potter" on his podcast.

"Stewart, who is Jewish, said that the banker goblin characters who run the Gringotts Wizarding Bank in the beloved franchise are based on antisemitic caricatures of Jewish people from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a notoriously antisemitic piece of literature," reported Emma Nolan. "'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.' J.K. Rowling was like, 'Can we get these guys to run our bank?' And everybody was just like, 'Wizards.' 'It was so weird,' he said."

In the Harry Potter series, both the books and movies, the goblins are short, shriveled creatures with bulbous hooked noses who have a powerful magical relationship with treasure and manage the Gringotts Wizarding Bank. They are characterized as unfairly persecuted by wizarding society — but also as secretive, cunning, and having a different perception of wealth and ownership than humans.

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"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**king underground bank," added Stewart.

Rowling has also come under repeated controversy after mocking the idea that men can menstruate and defending a British activist who called transgender women a threat to women's "privacy, safety, and fairness." She has denied being opposed to transgender rights and has claimed to have received death threats as a result of the controversy.