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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Let’s Take a Moment to Appreciate the Real-Life Version of Sleepy Hollow‘s Abbie Mills


I’ve fallen for Sleepy Hollow, friends. I’ve fallen hard. So I was very pleased to see star Orlando Jones bring “those who take issue w/ the ‘political correctness’ of #SleepyHollow & a black female cop as the lead” down a peg or twenty by introducing us to the sole black female cop in the real-life Sleepy Hollow.

OK, so Officer Wendy Yancey—not only Sleepy Hollow’s only black female cop, but also its only female cop in general—isn’t the inspiration for Sleepy Hollow‘s Lt. Abbie Mills, played by Nicole Beharie. Yancey has not, for example, ever befriended a recently resurrected Revolutionary War soldier with a personal vendetta against sales tax (… that we know of). She does, like Mills, have a sister, but when they were younger their time was taken up by cheerleading, not stumbling upon demonic trees. Not that that stops people from joshing Yancey about her fictional semi-counterpart. “It’s funny,” she says:

“I received so many phone calls asking if it was based on me, and when I walked into work this morning, a passerby called me Abbie!”

Well would you look at that! When people whine about shows that celebrate diversity on the grounds that they’re “too PC” they’re talking out of their racist rumps! Because minorities… take time to gather your emotions, because this one is huge… actually exist and do the sorts of things that, I don’t know, people make TV shows about. I know, right?! It’s so weird. It’s almost like TV is way, way too white or something.

(Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch via Tumblr)

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  • LifeLessons

    I LOVE Abbie!!! I love the whole dang show! LOVE!!!

  • Anonymous

    I love Abbie. And I think TV Tropes has a page for this; Reality Is Unrealistic. Like I know there was some joking about a line in How I Met Your Mother where the punchline was supposed to be “LOL there’s no minorities in Minnesota” when in actuality there’s an entire section of Minneapolis called “Little Mogadishu”.

    We’re everywhere, folks!

  • Mariah Huehner

    Apparently the people complaining about Sleepy Hollow’s cast diversity have never actually been there. I lived there for 2 years and grew up 10 min from it and spent a lot of time in the towns along the southern part of the Hudson River. Know what there are a lot of? People of color. Hispanics, Asians, African Americans…it’s a pretty damn diverse region. There are also plenty of female cops around. So. Not only are they reflecting reality, they’re developing an awesome lead character in the process. I can’t even fathom why anyone would have a problem with that, but I do love that Jones was able to school them by using reality. Sleepy Hollow itself is TEENSY, by the way, a sliver of a town between Tarrytown and Ossining (who also aren’t that big).

    Anyone who finds themselves complaining that the lead of a show about a Revolutionary War era demon hunter time traveling to the present is a black female cop needs to get a grip. It’s awesome, move on.

  • Anonymous

    Sleepy Hollow is a real place????

  • Sara Green Williams

    Tarrytown, NY – Google it. It’s neat. :)

  • Lien

    It is based on Washington Irving’s late night walk in that town. He, of course, over dramaticise it to sell the story but the story does show the charm that town has. There is also confusion on which bridge was the one where the protagonist tried to run onto when he was chased by the headless horseman as the town sports multiple bridges and there are ruins of olds ones down on the river.

  • Cain S. Latrani

    One day, we’ll get to see people as people, not demographics or statistics.

  • Anonymous

    I think that’s the biggest issue-people honestly forget that minorities exist OUTSIDE of stereotypes. You’d think in 2013 people would understand by now, but apparently the ethnic education of America is an ongoing process.

  • John W

    I like the show so far. That scene with John Cho’s neck was freaky as heck.

  • Not So Young Democrat

    Yes. It was North Tarrytown until they renamed it in the 1990s in honor of the Washington Irving story which it served as sort of a basis for.

  • Not So Young Democrat

    Yeah the ignorance is pretty astonishing. I’ve seen some of the same ignorance on display in Mad Men fandom where I’ve seen it suggested that Carla, the Draper’s African-American housekeeper in the first few seasons, must commute to their suburban home from the city. In reality African-Americans have lived in the Hudson Valley for hundreds of years.

  • ALittleBitNerdy

    Wow I hadn’t heard that HIMYM joke about Minnesota! Super surprising, considering the Twin Cities have the largest populations in the country of both Hmong and Somali immigrants and MN is home to three large Native American reservations.

  • Flitzy

    I really love the pairing (not romantic, necessarily) of Ichabod and Abbie. :)

  • http://thescienceofobsession.tumblr.com/ R.O.U.S.

    Just sat down last night and watched the first two episodes – fell in love rather unexpectedly. Icahbod and Abbie are fabulous. The cinematography is rather fun, as well, and a fair bit of creepiness to keep me on my toes. YES.

  • Mariah Huehner

    Most locals agree it is the bridge in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the older part.

  • Mariah Huehner

    Ironically, the show is just reflecting the actual diversity of the area. In a show about a time traveling Ichabod Crane who fights demons. The irony that a show with that premise is MORE diverse than most shows about some version of “reality” is sad/wtf-y.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    Loved Sleepy Hollow and have the series marked on my TV Guide app. I sincerely hope this takes off the way Grimm did.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    I yipped at that. Traumatized.

    (not too badly that I wouldn’t watch the show, though)

  • Nina

    Thank you for posting this. It seems like many of the new fall shows have completely, or almost completely white casts (The Blacklist, new SNL cast members, all of whom are white), so it’s refreshing to see characters like this.

  • odango atama

    Yes, I’m getting into this show. I love Abbie and Ichy’s (Icky?) chemistry. I hope they don’t fall in love because can’t men and women be friends and respect each other without there being a sexual component?

  • odango atama

    Not always. Sometimes they can let you down (Moonlighting, Castle, That 70s Show).