‘Sleepy Hollow’ Created ‘Us Against Her’ Environment for Star Nicole Beharie, ‘Burn It Down’ Book Claims

The Fox set sleepy hollow had “grueling” working conditions, confusion and “creative battles” among its leaders, and disparate treatment between its white man and black woman, according to burn it down.

Maureen Ryan’s Hollywood expose, which was released on Tuesday, alleges that Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison – who played Detective Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane respectively – ‘didn’t want to have much to do with each other’ , according to a source who worked on the show, which resulted in Mison’s character’s famous “courteous” arc, because the co-stars didn’t want to hug.

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This also would have translated into their on-screen stories, according to showrunner Clifton Campbell, who told Ryan that Mison and Beharie “believe the relationship between the characters shouldn’t evolve into a romantic relationship,” despite pleas from the fans. (Neither Beharie nor Mison have commented on the book.)

burn it down also claims that following an alleged conflict between co-creator and director Len Wiseman and Beharie while filming the pilot, actress Lyndie Greenwood – who played Beharie’s sister, Jenny Mills – was brought in to replace potentially the 42 And Shame actress.

In a chapter of the book – which also includes reports on other shows, including Lost, The Goldbergs And Saturday Night Live – Ryan details how one of Fox’s most popular and promising shows of 2013 collapsed and allegedly created a hostile work environment for one of its stars amid tensions of creative mismanagement and turnover between producers, creators, showrunners and Fox executives. Part of this, according to the book, was driven by events in the writers room, which Ryan says had three people of color in the first season, but returned for season two with an all-white male team out. of “one colored woman.”

When we talk to Top 5 TVs about the book, Ryan said it exposed the misconduct and bias in her sleepy hollow the report, which she says “gives necessary and important context” to the career trajectory of one of her stars, which inspired her to publish the book. “If there’s one thing that makes me want to burn things down, it’s when people leave the industry or are basically forced out of the industry or are basically forced into career breaks,” a- she told podcast co-hosts Lesley Goldberg and Daniel Fienberg. . “Not because of a pattern of serious misconduct or serious unprofessionalism or serious transgressions of any kind, but because they feared for their mental health, physical well-being, safety and their overall quality of life was terrible.”

Multiple sources told Ryan that influencers on the show claimed early on that they didn’t have “a good experience with Nicole,” but then passed it on to others, including writers who hadn’t worked with her. It was a “double standard”, as co-star Orlando Jones described it, with another source feeling she was lonely. “Especially if that person is a woman and a woman of color — those are two groups that already have challenges to start with,” that same source told Ryan. “It created a very us versus her environment from day one.”

SLEEPY HOLLOW, lr: Lyndie Greenwood, Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison

Lyndie Greenwood, Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison in Sleepy hollow.

Beharie reportedly prefaced her statements with, “I’m not trying to be picky,” although a source said she’s never seen her be. Or at least no more so than Mison, who was reportedly described by one producer as “the star” and another source also described as “a handful.” “He had his own issues,” they said. “I always said on any other show he would have been the biggest problem.”

Beharie previously addressed an alleged disparity in treatment between her and Mison, telling the Los Angeles Times in 2020, when she and Mison were both sick while filming the show’s first season, he was allowed to return to the UK, when she had to film an episode by herself, and eventually ended up in urgent care.

According to sources who worked on the show, some of whom used their first or full names, Beharie showed trepidation about the role, a massive and potentially multi-year undertaking. (Ryan compares this to James Gandolfini on the set of The Sopranosas detailed in Difficult men.) But she and Mison struggled to adjust to the lead role on the show, with co-star Jones telling Ryan the two were “out of their depths” and “nobody was helping them.”

Amidst that, “there’s been a lot of creative wading” from the show’s management team from the very beginning, a person who worked on the show told Ryan, noting the early ” red flags” at the start of how “issues were handled and how blame was assigned – or reassigned. As Mison and Beharie navigated “steep learning curves that sometimes involved friction with colleagues” , wrote Ryan, Beharie’s growing pains were treated differently.

“When a group of white people say a person of color is difficult, I tend to assume there’s a lot more to that story,” a source said. “I found her to be pleasant, extremely talented and an actress who adapted to the main role. There are growing pains with that. During the time I was there, the difference was the way their growing pains were perceived and managed.

Later, writer Shernold Edwards was hired on the show while overseen by then-showrunner Campbell. Edwards alleges the experience became “hellish”, with “a miserable vibe on set”. At one point, when she suggested she and Beharie get together to talk, Campbell “left”, telling her she couldn’t talk to Beharie and calling the actress “crazy”. (Campbell denied calling Beharie “crazy,” saying the allegation was “obviously untrue” and that she was “professional” and “hearty and fun.” He also told Ryan that Mison and Beharie were treated similarly on set during his season and “to protect the evolving conversations as the studio began to look beyond season three and ramifications for subsequent seasons, I told the entire room not to share these ongoing discussions with any cast or crew.”)

A source who has worked with Sleepy Hollow’Mark’s first showrunner, Mark Goffman, also alleged that “there were times where serious trouble was brought not only to Mark, but to the powers that be, so to speak. And either they brushed them off or they just weren’t manipulated.

The book also addresses reports from the first season that Beharie had bitten a hairdresser on the show’s set. This stylist, Jones said, had been brought in to resolve issues Beharie had raised about the amount of money sleepy hollow put her wig on Mison’s. (In a statement responding to a conversation between the show’s writers about Fox executives’ positions on black hairstyles seen on the show, Campbell said there was initial “studio-level” resistance to which the actress dons her natural hair on screen, but that request was ultimately granted, and for Beharie’s final season, she “wore her own personal wigs, which she requested that we use.”)

Jones maintains he was with her in the hair and makeup trailer and never saw the incident, although he has a picture on his phone ‘in which Beharie pretended to bite him’ as part of a joke. He also said that no “physical altercation could have occurred without someone seeing or noticing,” Ryan wrote. The stylist declined to “discuss in detail what happened on sleepy hollow with Beharie,” adding that “I also write about my experiences. She went on to call her time on the show “one of the worst projects I’ve worked on as a hairstylist.”

These and other incidents were part of a pattern in the evolution of the show’s creative leadership, Ryan suggests. Including Campbell becoming “unproductively” emotional and defensive at times when black writers made suggestions regarding elements of the scripts, potential unconscious biases being addressed by HR in terms of script assignments, and fans criticizing the show for his treatment of the character of Beharie.

The show had high turnover among its employees, with often “brutal” filming hours and key creatives in Los Angeles and Wilmington, North Carolina, both at odds and in over their heads since the start. first season, said a person who worked on the show. Ryan. This, they said, was because these leaders were “averse to conflict or unwilling to have difficult conversations.”

“It was very tense, from quite early on,” they added.

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