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The PR team for Fox’s sophomore series Sleepy Hollow sent out an email blast announcing “National Beheading Day” this week, and quickly felt the backlash.

They also asked viewers to get hyped for the show’s DVD release by tweeting the hashtag #HeadlessDay, and needless to say, fans weren’t happy.

After all, the campaign began just hours after the video of Steven Sotloff beheaded by ISIS hit the web, which on one hand was just poor timing, but still.

Afton Williamson as Talia Bishop

It was no doubt meant as lighthearted fun to promote the Headless Horseman on a show about the fictional legend Ichabod Crane. This is obvious.

Still, even before Sotloff was executed that same day, another American journalist, James Foley was killed by an Islamic State fighter in similar fashion.


Clearly, Sleepy Hollow is not making light of mass murder, but ISIS’ graphic and brutal tactics have left an unsettled feeling across the globe in recent weeks.

The network has since apologized and issued a sincere mea culpa “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.”

“We don’t take the news lightly. Had we known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.”

To see what all the buzz is about, watch Sleepy Hollow online.