Let’s make one thing very clear — “Sleepy Hollow” is a blast. It was, by far, one of the unexpected highlights of the 2013 fall TV season, and we cannot wait to dig in to season two.
That being said, pretty much everyone on ThinkJam’s email blast list simultaneously gasped with horror on Tuesday (September 2), when the PR firm sent out a release announcing “National Beheading Day” in honor of the show’s DVD release.
Why? Because the email came mere hours after news broke of journalist Steven Sotloff’s beheading by ISIS.
“Heads will roll as sleepyheads celebrate Headless Day today, September 2,” the email read.
“On this National Beheading Day, viewers everywhere can share in the fun as fans prepare for the release of Sleepy Hollow: Season One on Digital HD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD September 16. We hope you like them and are able to share them with your readers! If you share via your social media platforms, please tag them with #HeadlessDay!”
Needless to say, no one took to Twitter to hashtag anything “Headless Day.”
This was an undoubtedly unfortunate move from ThinkJam — to be honest, it’s one of the most poorly timed PR stunts we’ve ever seen — but one that they soon (an hour-ish later) rectified.
“We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Headless Day announcement,” the email said. “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 known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.”
Look — this is incredibly unfortunate. But the fact is, National Beheading Day is actually a real thing. As in, as real as the “National Hug Your Cat Day” and “National Drink Wine Alone And Watch ‘Scandal’” days we like to celebrate when the Internet tells us to. A quick Google search reveals that many people actually do acknowledge September 2 as Beheading Day, supposedly due to a British aristocrat named Alice Lisle who lost her — well, you know — on that very day.
In other words, ThinkJam realized that this would be the perfect tie-in for “Sleepy Hollow,” and they went for it. On any other day, in any other circumstance, this would have been a giant “win.” Unfortunately, due to timing and the news cycle, it wasn’t.
But don’t let it deter you from watching season two of “Sleepy Hollow.” That would be a lose-lose for everyone.