Nicole Beharie Reveals The Racist ‘Us-Against-Her Environment’ She Endured On Set Of ‘Sleepy Hollow’

A new book is unearthing the alleged “hellish” and “miserable” experience Black actors and writers had while working on Fox’s supernatural thriller “Sleepy Hollow.”

Written by journalist Maureen Ryan, “Burn It Down” explores the behind-the-scenes harassment and bias plaguing Hollywood. “Sleepy Hollow” has become a topic of conversation after Ryan spoke with one production staffer who revealed the “very us-against-her environment” launched against the show’s Black female lead, Nicole Beharie, EW reports.

According to the insider, a predominantly all-white male staff under showrunner Clifton Campbell allegedly labeled Beharie as “difficult” and treated her differently than her white co-lead Tim Mison. Beharie and Mison starred in “Sleepy Hollow” as detective Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane. But, the book reveals the alleged feud between Beharie and Mison that got so bad, the actors refused to hug on screen, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter.

One Black staffer identified only as Robert noted how both leads “went through steep learning curves that sometimes involved friction with colleagues,” but “Beharie’s behavior was weaponized against her in a way that Mison’s was not.”

A number of higher-ups reportedly “claimed not to have had a good experience” with Beharie, including staffers who never even met her in person, Robert claimed.

“When a bunch of white guys say a person of color is difficult, I tend to assume that there’s a lot more to that story,” he said.

“I found her to be pleasant, extremely talented, and an actor who was adjusting to being a lead. There are growing pains with that. In the time I was there, where the discrepancy came in was how their growing pains were viewed and handled.”

Others noted the “resistance” displayed over Beharie wearing her hair naturally and how Campbell allegedly cried when Black writers on the show accused him of showing signs of racism. When the bias issues were presented to network execs, staffers claim the concern was overlooked due to the leaders being “conflict-averse or unwilling to have tough conversations,” staffers said.