Writer @stacyamiller85 ‘s Response To Letter of Support for #SleepyHollow #sleepyheads

Thank you all for your responses to my article on The Nerdy Girl Express. As the writer as well as a WOC, I have loved Nikki Beharie’s portrayal as Abigail Mills since Day One of Sleepy Hollow and have expressed this on many occasions.  Television needs strong African American role models.  That being said, my article wasn’t a slight to Ms. Beharie or her character.  It was a support of a television show’s right to tell their story as they see fit. Am I upset at the direction of the story and Abbie leaving? Absolutely yes.  Will I stop watching the show because of it? No. Why? Because I base my viewing on the entire show. Tom Mison, Lyndie Greenwood have done fabulous jobs in their portrayals and I want to see them continue with their characters. And yes, I was also upset Zach Appelman departed as Joe Corbin.  Janina should receive respect as a new cast member not any belittling because she is “replacing” Nikki Beharie on the show because she’s not.  She’s creating an entirely new character and Nikki ‘s Abbie can’t be replaced. I want to see Janina’s take on a new character.

Being angry and upset is understandable. Name calling because of it is not.  I’ve read comments on Twitter indicating that I am disrespecting WOC.  What I found interesting was a particular comment that I was hired by the show for PR, which is absolutely untrue.

If my article indicated that anyone who is not watching Sleepy Hollow’s Season 4 was an idiot, yes, it would have deserved contempt and negative comments.  But to imply that anyone who chooses to continue to support a show they loved is being disrespectful to a particular actress or any of the other negative comments I read is unbelievable.  If the article is read as it was intended as a viewer expressing their feelings about a show instead of immediately jumping on the attack because I titled my article “Letter of Support”.  As far as the article addressing the treatment of black characters, that was not what this article was about.  Though, I can most certainly write an article about that at another time as well.  Anyone who chooses not to support Sleepy Hollow is more than welcome but anyone who continues to support the show is not an idiot, stupid, disrespectful to black characters or any other negative phrase.

Last year, I posted an article about a fan appreciation project for Sleepy Hollow.  The one person who responded was very happy about this and even emailed me on what Sleepy Hollow meant to her.  Sadly, she was the only response (even though the article received multiple retweets) so I couldn’t post it.

As far as the issue of being blocked on Twitter by The Nerdy Girl Express, any one has a right to block anyone they choose. The Nerdy Girl Express blocked because they don’t tolerate hate.  Constructive opinions are another thing.  I am the writer and I have not blocked nor do I intend to block anyone commenting to this article.  Will I go back and forth on Twitter responding to tweets about the show or writers’ treatment of black characters? No.  I am not one of Sleepy Hollow’s writers and have never been in the writers room so I am learning the story lines same as any other viewer when they air.

To every fan angry and upset about the direction of Sleepy Hollow, your anger is understandable.  Season 1 was my favorite season, some story lines in Season 2 had me shaking my head in frustration and Season 3 felt like an entirely different show.  But I would never resort to name calling of the show’s creator or writers because of it.  I wanted to respond as an intelligent viewer. I had hoped for the same respect for my article.  But sadly, I got attacked because some readers chose to view me as a “traitor” to Nikki Beharie. I appreciate the class Nikki Beharie showed when she issued the statement below about her departure:

In an exclusive statement to TVLine, Beharie says, “Sleepy Hollow has been an incredible experience in every way. I loved playing Abbie. It’s been such a gift to have taken this wild ride… Alas, ‘Abbie Mills has done all she was meant to do.’ I’m excited about what the show has in store for us next. I’m rooting for my co-stars and crew… they have been my inspiration, my teachers, family, my friends, over the last few seasons. I want to thank the fantastic producers, writers, and directors who have worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. I want to thank Fox for their faith and support. But, most of all, [I want to thank the] Sleepyheads for all of your love – what an honor. I will never be the same. Stay tuned.”

I just hope that all Sleepy Hollow fans whether current or former can follow her example. Again, the views expressed here are mine as the writer of Sleepy Hollow article and not that of The Nerdy Girl Express.

Anyone who wants to comment to this, please feel free.  My twitter is @stacyamiller85 . However, if you still insist on being nasty in your comment instead of asking your question in an intelligent way, I can choose not to respond.

Related:

https://thenerdygirlexpress.com/2016/07/24/a-letter-of-support-to-sleepywriters-sleepyhollowfox-pmiscove-via-stacyamiller85/

15 thoughts on “Writer @stacyamiller85 ‘s Response To Letter of Support for #SleepyHollow #sleepyheads

  1. Thank you Stacy. We stand behind you and love you, as always, here at NGE.

    I’m sorry your liking a show created such vitriol towards you and then us. We never imagined blocking people calling us and you names, dehumanizing you as a fake account and person, a traitor, accusing us of having the horribleness to create you just to try and ‘sneak’ something by them, or that we would gladly take direction from the writers and write that article on purpose for exploitive purposes, would create such a response.

    There have been tears and I know those same people who were blocked won’t care. I feel as if they will even revel that they were able to hurt us. So is the nature of trolls.

    And no for the record, NGE did not block everyone who disagreed with your original article. I personally was the one who tweeted a woman and asked her to write her own letter when she had sarcastically asked if she should do so. Because we do care about other opinions, because we do want all sides of the story.

    I received zero response. From her or anyone else.

    I’m sorry to you and anyone else that is disappointed in how we have handled those trolls.

    I know many that disagreed with the article, but kept away from being hateful. Thank you to those people.

    Finally Stacy, I hope this awful experience hasn’t stopped your creativity. You are a great writer, bright, positive and generous. Traits I think we need a lot more of in this world and what the NGE always tries to stand for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Erica- I appreciate your kind words. And no, it’ll take more than this to stop me from writing. Unfortunately it’s the nature of the beast for writers I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a Twitter response to your original article. After reading this it just seems you really don’t get why people are truly upset. This is not specifically about Nicole Beharie or Abbie Mills. This is about disrespect towards Black women as a whole. Its about wanting more for people who look like you and me. You talk about still wanting to support Tom and Lyndie and that’s your right. However, there are times when the bigger picture is more important than supporting one or two people on a show that has said they do not respect Black women. I made the choice and the terrible mistake of supporting this show past S1 when they were screaming out loud and clear they do not care about my voice or respect me because I’m a Black woman. I regret sticking with this show in the name of supporting a Black actress. I love Nicole Beharie, I think she’s amazing, but NEVER again will I make the mistake of supporting a show, writers, or showrunner that have absolutely no regard for me whatsoever. As far as Janina, no one is attacking or blaming her. We know she is another character altogether. But again the issue is being turned into something else. The show choosing to replace a dark Black actress with a light WOC is typical and brings up the issue of colorism. An issue that fans have been calling out long before Janina was given the role. We’ve seen how Abbie’s character was treated a lot differently than every other woman on the show with light skin, and that includes Jenny. Finally, I think its terrible to refer to legitimate concerns as vitriol or being attacked. People read it and responded. Some may have been extremely passionate but its because we want better. We are tired of seeing this same scenario play out over and over again. But labeling Black women as attackers or spewing vitriol because we voiced our opinions just feeds into the stereotype of us being loud, rude, and angry. I’m not telling anyone what to do however I’m proud of the fact that so many like myself have chosen to take a stand against this show and what it represents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voicing opinions is one thing but getting nasty responses as a WOC who chose to continue to watch the show, I don’t understand. I hated the Katrina storyline and Henry one and have spoken with people on this as well. But it seems as though this whole issue has become about black representation and race. To me, writing decisions involving many stories not just Abbie’s has effected Sleepy Hollow. And yes, I understand why fans are upset about Abbie and Nikki. But what I don’t understand is the attack I’ve received based on expressing my view of intending to continue to watch the show. I’ve always watched shows based on characters and stories that interest me whether black actors are in them or not. For me, television is about enjoyment. If I picked shows based on representation, over 90% of my tv viewing would be cut. The issue of dark skin vs light skin actresses and characters could be true. But I’m not in casting or writing for any television shows so I can’t say for certain whether any motives are involved. I hope not but I don’t know. Some of the tweets about white writers and bosses treatment of black characters have come off as “them vs us” and “the man” which do portray viewers as angry black fans. There are many WOC viewers I’ve spoken with who feel as I do but are scared to voice it publicly for fear of backlash. Extremely passionate is acceptable but rude and nasty because my views were different is another. Your response to this was intelligently expressed as you cited the anger and concern without attacking me as a traitor WOC. So, I thank you for that. And you and other viewers should take a stand for what you feel and believe. I just want the same courtesy for my beliefs.

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  3. Thank you for addressing our concerns here; I’m the person you referenced that submitted a story for publication, by the way. You are certainly well within your rights to support the show. I have to say, I was very much of the same mind prior to this show. I didn’t automatically run out to see a movie just because it had a black cast. I didn’t watch Sleepy Hollow for any other reason than I love sci-fi and horror. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, so to speak. I started noticing things. It was little things at first, but as I became more involved in social media, people began to point out patterns. After a while, it became evident to even someone as little attuned to these types of things as I that there was an issue. I have to say, my decision to no longer support Sleepy Hollow is for a variety of reasons: the show’s treatment of Nicole Beharie, her character, and overall, the disappearance and overall treatment of POCs (Nick Gonzalez, Orlando Jones, etc.) was very concerning to me and was a primary factor. Its treatment of women was another factor (either wilting violet or strong black woman). Yet another was its treatment of fans; we were misled intentionally to support additional seasons, yet we were finally left with not only no resolution to the romance shoved at us by PTB/writers, but also a finale which was disjointed and utterly disrespectful to POC AND Christians. That leads to my last objection, which was the overall quality of the show. In the first season, we had tight writing with good continuity, decent character development, and no glaring plot holes. By the finale, we had multiple tropes, many dropped plot lines (Thura? Tablet? Abbie meant to be the one to carry the fight forward and win the day? And where did the eternal Witness come from?), and poor character development/OOC behavior. I was attracted to Sleepy Hollow because it stimulated my mind; it was thoughtful and smart, as well as entertaining. It was a refreshing change from the mindless garbage too often passed off as entertainment these days. In addition to the concerns about cast and fan treatment, which were considerable, I felt the writers were neither respecting my intelligence nor my investment in the show and its canon. I truly believe that if we do not demand better, we do not receive better, nor do we deserve it… The plans for Season 4 seem to be not only a departure from canon built over 3 seasons, but also a hodge podge of recycled ideas from competing shows. As I said in an earlier tweet, the show is dead to me – but I mourn it DEEPLY. But we deserve better, the actors and crew, including those joining the show in Season 4, deserve better, and the legacy of this show deserves better. The writers and other creators definitely have to have leeway to express their creative freedom, but they are not writing in a vacuum: this is art MADE FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION and there is a responsibility to at a minimum not entirely dismiss their audience/consumers.

    I appreciate you following up on the initial article; I came to this site because I had seen that there was an additional response, but unfortunately, I am one of the people who was blocked on Twitter and unable to read it (which, for the record, although I was very upset about the initial article, my responses were impassioned but not hate speech in any way – my apologies if you read it as such). That is your right to block whomever you see fit. I hope, however, that you use Sleepy Hollow as a cautionary tale: TPB and the writers often reached out for our assistance, but they were very slow to take our counsel and very quick to dismiss our concerns. They created an echo chamber of adoring fans who stroked their egos, while dismissing those with legitimate concerns as “haters.” They not only failed to listen to these legitimate questions and concerns, but they fomented an “us versus them” mentality amongst fans. This was never so pronounced as after 3:18. Even when criticism is delivered in a less than optimal fashion, there is usually some truth that can be gleaned from it. I daresay those of us who no longer support the show actually love it as much, if not more, than anyone else. Why? Because we know it can DO better, BE better, and really, only a great love can inspire so much passion aimed in the opposite direction. This being said, I hope that you will not block out those with legitimate concerns; as a blogger in the public sphere, you should not be subjected to hate speech or threats by any means, but sometimes there are lessons to be learned from things that are difficult to process or hear. Sleepy Hollow ignored this, and their viewership decreased greatly year over year (>10M to @5M, then barely 3M, 4M with fans rewatching on multiple platforms… and I was one of them, but no longer). Sometimes there are interesting conversations to be had and things to be learned when dissenting voices are heard.

    Again, thank you for providing this forum to share concerns and ideas, and I wish you good luck in your blog. I hope some of this is helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a great response. And yes, I know it was you who sent the email about the fan appreciation article but didn’t want to cite your name as I didn’t ask your permission first. Your points are valid and well written. And when presented this way, deserved to be heard. Diversity and LGBT representation is a hot bed of discussion right now. And unfortunately, some of the responses to show creators, writers etc on many shows have been threatening over anger and upset of story lines for characters on a few other shows I watch. I don’t want this for the Sleepy Hollow fandom. I don’t want fans viewed as angry, crazy or dangerous. That being said, my intention with the first article was to say I haven’t liked some of the writing ( and I didn’t feel I needed to get into a lot about representation, Abbie, Nikki etc) but to give anyone the respect to write how they see fit. If I don’t like it, I don’t read it. Or in the case of a tv show, can choose not to watch. However, I’m unlike people who stop watching a show for writing or actor, character exits. I stop watching a show when it gets canceled or ends. I’m under no delusions that Sleepy Hollow season 4 will be the show I fell in love with but I want to see what happens. Particularly with Janina as she’s a talented actress. I ‘ve read some negative things people have written about her without even seeing her on Sleepy Hollow yet. That’s sad. She’s not at fault for the writing or the show’s casting of her and will do the best she can with the material she’s given. I wish her well and will not compare her acting or character to Nikki or Abbie. Below line is that I watch tv to escape from the realities of the world and getting so many negative comments about me being coerced to write my article or being on the show’s PR and being an idiot, simple etc were hard to take. NGE chose to block as they got tired of reading the comments. I didn’t. I replied more than I usually do when discussions of racial or political are involved but didn’t feel NGE should be the only one speaking for me. I wrote the piece and stand by my statements. However, I do apologize for any broad fandom statements made and appreciate your courtesy.

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  4. Many of those who were block were simply voicing their disagreement. It appears that everyone who did not support the article was blocked. I did not respond to it but saw much of the decent. I believe a couple may have crossed a line, but most were not. And there is now discussion on twitter among the many who were blocked because it appears differing opinions were not welcome on NGE twitter. And there was question about the account because some said they had not seen you before on twitter.
    It is your perogative if the treatment of WOC by the networks and Hollywood are not an issue. But there are some out there who are struggling to get this to change and I suppose it is disheartening to see other women and women of color saying it doesn’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel as though the voicing of opinions was in regards to representation which is not what my article is about. As far as people not seeing me on Twitter. I’m very active on Twitter and have written for 3 online publications and done interviews with actors, writers etc. Am I active voicing opinions on Sleepy Hollow and other fandoms? No. Because I have found if my views differ people get nasty. As far as treatment by WOC by the networks and Hollywood not being an issue for me, it is an issue but I don’t send tweets about it. The letters I send are phrased differently. Working in the media I know that if you appear to be on the attack when you question and issue, you will be cited as being angry and your views won’t be listened to. Finally, my name and Twitter name were on both articles but comments made were generalizations about NGE and some were nasty attacks against me. I do wonder if I had written the same article but hadn’t titled it Letter of Support and had taken out about watching S4 what the response would have been.

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  5. Your decision to watch and support the show, despite the abysmal way the show has handled a lot of issues, is yours alone to justify and whilst I wasn’t even aware of the letter of support you wrote, after having stumbled across this reply, I have even less of an interest in engaging with the former.

    The “vitriol(ic)” responses to your original letter as you so eloquently expressed, are as a result of your public expression of your support of a show, behind the scene crew and network that continue to undermine fans and the very important need for representation on TV, so we aren’t made to suffer from a repeat of everything SH is.

    Your position as a WOC does not automatically negate you from criticism if your actions expressly support everything other WOC are attempting to dismantle.

    Like I said earlier, the attempts at justifying your position aren’t for the people who read your letter but for yourself alone.

    If yuh cuss Johncrow peel head turky wi bex.

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    1. Thank you for time the time to reply. As a writer, I have received criticism in the past and will in the future. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether the criticism is constructive or whether it’s made in anger and negatively. The comments are based on fans issues with the writers of Sleepy Hollow which they felt to relate to me due to my letter of support. Whether anyone chooses to believe it or not, I support a writer’s choice to tell the story they way they see fit. Good or bad. People can like, dislike whatever. This article is not on representation or Nikki or the Abbie character. Example of constructive criticism would have been “I disagree with your decision to support a show that has been less than fair to WOC. I don’t understand why you chose to do so but everyone is welcome to their choice. But be aware that the majority of Sleepy Hollow fans stand against the show and it’s writing.” Nonetheless, I respect your opinion because everyone is entitled to their opinion and to be heard out. Any successful viewpoint is always considered when it’s made presenting information without nastiness or anger.

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      1. Anger is a justifiable emotion to have. It shouldn’t be gaslighted just because you don’t feel the same. These are fans who for the first time saw someone in a genre as lead who represented who they are, but she was written in stereotypical ways and ultimately met her end in the all-too-typical ways.

        I am angry, sad, and hurt by this as a black female fan. No one is under any obligation to suppress that nor is anyone bravely pursuing a noble cause when they support this product despite that.

        Neither side of expression is helping nor hurting the production team anymore than you are hurt by the attention your initial article has garnered. This is happening because FOX owns the show and wants some syndication money. I am under no illusion that anything that I say effects plans for season 4.

        However, this show does not exist in a vacuum. It keeps to a larger troubling pattern when it comes to the depiction of women, POC, and black women (especially when they are darker-skinned) in media. That you seem to have a blindspot to that, despite being a WOC yourself, suggests further research on Sleepy Hollow’s TV production and reactions might be in order, as does the typo on the co-lead actor’s name in this response post.

        It’s “Tom” Mison, not “Tim” Mison.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for sharing your views. I am fully aware of all opinions and as someone who grew up in the 1970s and have my own personal experience on the subject. But again if my article was focusing on this aspect and failed to address, then yes, it should have been pointed out. By my article is about my reasons for continuing to watch. Anyone who chose to view it as anything but, I can’t change. As a member of the press I know the issues with the show and also those who are former fans. That being said, me being a WOC has nothing to do with anything accept for those who choose to make it. I watched SH as a fan of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as I was interested in seeing a retelling. I am an avid reader of literature. If The Canterbury Tales who been retold for tv, I would have watched too. Abbie Mills, The Witnesses was an extra bonus. Now as I fan of several of the new cast additions from their previous work, I’m continuing to watch. Everyone who decides not to that’s their decision. And thanks for pointing out the typo.

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