The Sleepy Hollow PR team was forced to apologize for the untimely use of the Headless Day hashtag in their campaign for the show’s Season 1 DVD release. The gaffe came on the same day that a video showing the brutal beheading of a second American journalist was posted online.
Steven Sotloff was being held captive by the terrorist group ISIS and had been threatened with a fate similar to that of beheaded photojournalist, James Foley in August. The Sleepy Hollow marketing people’s timing of the Headless Day campaign couldn’t have come at a more inappropriate time.
The publicity firm Thinkjam had to issue a statement in regards of its poorly timed efforts to promote Sleepy Hollow DVD release of Season 1. The explanation issued to The Wrap read:
We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement. The tragic news of Steven Sotloff’s death hit the web as the email was being sent. Our deepest sympathies are with him and his family, and we don’t take the news lightly.
The campaign is, of course, in reference to the headless horseman that haunts Sleepy Hollow and threatens anyone that stands in his path, especially the main character in the story, time traveler Ichabod Crane, played by British actor Tom Mison. The series was a big and somewhat unexpected hit for Fox, in part thanks to the handsome, blue-eyed star.
However, the PR campaign to promote the release of Sleepy Hollow Season 1 DVD couldn’t have come at a worst time. Word that Steven Sotloff had suffered the same fate as his colleague, James Foley, broke at around noon Tuesday and immediately became the topic of outrage around the world.
The terrorist group ISIS showed footage of another man held captive, this time a British aid worker by the name of David Haines and threatened him as well. American authorities have confirmed that the video showing the decapitation of Sotloff is authentic.
Fox Home Entertainment, which begins airing Sleepy Hollow Season 2 September 22, also issued a statement apologizing for the ill-timed campaign saying:
…recognizes and apologizes for today’s promotion for the Season One DVD release of Sleepy Hollow. We regret the unfortunate timing of our announcement and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of all involved.
The Sleepy Hollow Headless Day campaign included a series of e-cards with quotes such as “I knew you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached” and “Does this axe make my head look small?”
Stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie (Abbie), are the protagonists of this remake, based on Washington Irving’s 1820 short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and follows the story of a horseman who was beheaded by Ichabod Crane in 1781 and is resurrected in the modern day.
[Image via Fox]