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Another Scandal Brewing Around J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter's Goblins Declared 'Anti-Semitic'

Goblin Banker - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2022
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J.K. Rowling has previously taken a firm stance against anti-Semitism, expressing solidarity with British Jews in 2018 and calling for non-Jews to stand up against anti-Semitism.
The portrayal of goblins in the "Harry Potter" saga appears to foster anti-Semitic stereotypes, and J.K. Rowling is among those to be blamed, according to comedian and former host of "The Daily Show" Jon Stewart.
In the magical saga, ill-tempered and greedy goblins are the owners and keepers of the Gringotts Bank - the bank that is in charge of the wizards' finances. Speaking on his show "The Problem with Jon Stewart", the ex-Daily Show host compared the way they were depicted in the movies with the anti-Semitic illustrations from the 1903 book "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion".

"Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank? Do you know what those folks who run the bank are? Jews! And they’re like, 'Oh, [that illustration is] 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?' It's a wizarding world…we can ride dragons, you can have a pet owl…but who should run the bank? Jews. But what if the teeth were sharper?", Stewart said.

The comedian said he was surprised that no outrage immediately followed the portrayal of the goblins in the "Harry Potter" movies in a way that, according to him, could be connected with anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Stewart's suggestions quickly went viral, becoming fodder for yet another internet discussion of both the magical saga and its author, J.K. Rowling. Netizens spotted that the floor in the Gringotts Bank has a star on it, and the goblins have side locks resembling the Jewish Payot.
Many of those who sided with the comedian immediately pointed at Rowling's notorious "transphobic" views, eager to add accusations of anti-Semitism to the pile of scandals the writer is already facing.
Others, however, raised eyebrows at Stewart's observations. Some netizens argued that goblins were depicted in ways similar to their portrayal in "Harry Potter" long before Rowling came up with her story. Still other people pointed to it not being Rowling deciding on film locations and costume design.
The "Harry Potter" world is stealing the spotlight again due to many reasons. Nostalgia and love shared by Potter fans around the world have recently spiked due to an HBO Max special for the saga's 20-year anniversary, with many members of the cast, including the golden trio, reuniting to take a look back at how the magical story shaped their destiny and changed the lives of many people globally. Despite the rumours, the special episode did not ignore J.K. Rowling completely: she was also featured in the reunion, but only on archive clips filmed in 2019.
Aside from this, Rowling's name was omitted from the credits in the trailer of the third spinoff movie "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore". Instead of "J.K. Rowling invites you", as it read in the trailers for the previous two movies, one can see "Warner Bros. invites you".
The controversy around Rowling remains as she continues to face criticism over her "transphobic" views. In 2020, she mocked an article for using "people who menstruate" instead of "women", and in 2021 she faced yet another strong wave of backlash over comments about the decision by Police Scotland to log male rapists in as women if they identify themselves as such.
"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength", she said, commenting on the decision. "The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman".
The author denies being transphobic, saying that she "knows" and "loves" trans people. Similarly, she has previously voiced her stance on anti-Semitism, particularly during an anti-Semitism-related scandal in 2018, when the UK Labour Party was accused of failing to deal with hate against Jews.
"Perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden", she tweeted at the time, engaging in heated debates with netizens about anti-Semitism.
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