Sleepy Hollow sorry for 'National Beheading Day' campaign in light of Isis murder of Steven Sotloff

Press release was issued minutes before the news broke

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The Independent Culture

Fox has apologised for the '#HeadlessDay' social media marketing campaign it ran for its TV show Sleepy Hollow, which it realises was "in poor taste" coming on the same day as the beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff by terrorist group Isis.

The campaign was designed to promote the show's Headless Horseman character, but faced a backlash as it was juxtaposed with the big news story of the day on social media on Tuesday.

Sleepy Hollow's publicists said they issued the press release for the fake national day just minutes before the news of Sotloff's murder broke and would have held off if they'd known.

"We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement," ThinkJam said in a statement.

"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 have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste."

Though the timing with Sotloff's murder was an unfortunate coincidence, another American journalist James Foley had been killed by Isis in similar fashion just weeks before.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment also issued a statement, adding: "Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment recognizes and apologizes for today’s promotion for the Season One DVD release of Sleepy Hollow. We regret the unfortunate timing of our announcement and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of all involved."