You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Marketers Sorry for ‘National Beheading Day’ Stunt

The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff.

In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming season one DVD and Blu-ray. “Hollow” wasn’t deliberately trying to invoke the day’s tragic news; the campaign was intended to invoke the show’s Headless Horseman character.

Naturally, that had some on social media crying foul considering not just the Sotloff tragedy, but the killing of another American journalist, James Foley, just weeks ago at the hands of ISIS.

JJ Mariani, a publicist with Think Jam, the publicity firm charged with handling the campaign, said his company learned of Tuesday’s ISIS incident on CNN just minutes after issuing the Headless Day press release. The firm quickly issued a retraction and apology, but by then the campaign had made its way to social media.

“We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement,” the firm said in a statement. “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. Had we have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.”

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment also issued the following statement: “Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment 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.”

'Sleepy Hollow' eCard
'Sleepy Hollow' eCard

The “Hollow” marketing team actually didn’t invent National Beheading Day; there are articles on the Sept. 2 holiday going back several years.

The “Sleepy Hollow” season one DVD and Blu-ray will be released Sept. 16.

More TV

  • Bill Cosby Trial

    Bill Cosby's Career Achievement Award Rescinded by TCA

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

  • David Decker

    David Decker to Head Domestic TV Sales for Warner Bros.

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

  • Brett Kavanaugh Fox News

    Brett Kavanaugh's Fox News Interview Spoke Only to His Supporters (Column)

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

  • Lil Yachty arrives at the MTV

    Lil Yachty to Star in 'How High 2' for MTV (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

  • Black Lightning

    'Black Lightning' Boss on Season 2 Police Brutality, Family Separation and 'Consequences'

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

  • Randall Stephenson

    AT&T Chief Wants More HBO Content Over Next 3 Years

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

  • Kovert Creative Hires PMK*BNC's Danica Smith

    Kovert Creative Hires PMK*BNC's Danica Smith

    The Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” drew ire on social media Tuesday for a marketing campaign touting “National Beheading Day” on the same day the world learned terrorist group ISIS claimed to have decapitated American journalist Steven Sotloff. In a case of unfortunate timing, commemorative eCards declaring #HeadlessDay were released to promote of the show’s upcoming […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content