, 17 tweets, 6 min read
My Authors
Read all threads
Nicole Beharie on #SleepyHollow: “Sometimes I think that some people I was working with didn’t like that I was unwell but loved by the audience. ...everyone of color on that show was seen as expendable and eventually let go.” Yes. That happened in real time & it was so awful.
I think a lot about the many terrible decisions made & thus enabled from on high at #sleepyhollow. Black women boosted SH online/on social media & helped make it a phenomenon. Watching their hearts get broken in real time is one of the worst things I ever witnessed as a critic.
2 leads had great chemistry, but #SleepyHollow was one of the few genre shows I ever saw w Black sisters as a core relationship. The excitement when folks saw how that was central to the mythology! Over time, that relationship got less time so a white witch could... be useless.
I don’t know composition of #SleepyHollow writers room for its entire run. But I will say that the day I spent in that writers room (just before s2), there was one Black woman in the room. The only woman of color as I recall. White men spoke the majority of the time. By a lot.
Those that worked on #SleepyHollow, I don’t necessarily blame you. I would much rather focus on the upper level folks & executives who allowed what transpired to transpire. Decisions were made up the food chain. And a truly charming show with great Black characters was destroyed.
Whoever still controls #SleepyHollow IP: that’s a gold mine. A Black family with diaries from a relative that lived in colonial times. Supernatural connections. Time travel btw colonial free Black communities &modern day Black women. There were so many cool pieces of mythology!!!
In writing about TV over the years, I have been fortunate to talk to so many incredible Black women who would write & direct the hell out of that show. Make that show! “The Sleepy Hollow Diaries.” As a fan of genre fare, this is a slam dunk. & a way to acknowledge & right a wrong
You would not believe how much time I’ve spent thinking about this. Or maybe you would. It makes me grind my teeth into dust when TV wastes good premises, mythology & characters. It didn’t have to be this way. Anyway the show I just described? I still really fucking want that.
I’m a white lady. I have red hair. And when the show boosted a white lady with red hair who added nothing to the story, I wanted to tear my own ginger strands right out of my head. There were so many much better characters! Most of them were Black.
Twitter was newer (& more fun) when #SleepyHollow debuted in 2013. I was more active on Tumblr then. The creativity & joy of the SH fandom was an absolute delight. Critics were on board too--so much chemistry & energy on that show. And then... a case study in It All Going Wrong
I won't passive-voice this thing. The most powerful people who had any control over #SleepyHollow were generally white. SH could have been a huge franchise. But tone-deaf, bewildering & racially questionable decisions by mostly white people drained its joy & crushed its potential
Here's @angelicabastien in 2016, still apt: "By killing off its co-lead and most important character, Sleepy Hollow in one fell swoop embodied a slew of the most repugnant storytelling stereotypes: Women in Refrigerators, the Magical Negro, and the Mammy." villagevoice.com/2016/05/05/a-w…
Btw there were 2 Black families at the core of #SleepyHollow--the Mills & Orlando Jones' character's family. Cool! Not Just One Black character! Let's do this! Then S2 show brought on a white guy as potential love interest for Abbie & tried to make that white witch happen.
SH systematically sidelined Black characters & relationships & what if the creative team had an array of Black people calling the shots, I tell you what, the show might still be on the air and would have made the powers that be SO much money by now. Eternally relevant Sisko gif
I will never forget how in S2 they tried to build up Katrina as a character (not actress' fault; it never worked) & then at a KEY moment, she tried to do a spell (her only thing was, she was a witch). Outcome? Nothing happened & she fainted. Oh cool, great character, more please.
There's a way to do a character fucking up at a key moment that is the culmination of an emotional journey & exciting plot. This wasn't that. This was "You should care about Katrina" "Why?" "Because REASONS!" Here's her big moment &... as a witch, she ain't shit. cool cool cool.
This is one of the most evergreen pieces I’ve ever written. “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” variety.com/2016/tv/opinio…
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with Mo Ryan

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!