"I lost out on a lot of jobs and opportunities because of how somebody labeled me."
When Nicole Beharie's Abbie Mills was unexpected killed off "Sleepy Hollow" in 2016, it was met with an uproar from fans. Dispatching of the show's Black female lead was more than a shock -- and something she didn't really speak about for years.
While she revealed in 2019 her decision to exit the series was partly due to an autoimmune disease she was fighting at the time, the actress is now opening up about her treatment on set and how she was labeled as "difficult" in the years to come.
"My costar and I were both sick at the same time but I don't believe that we were treated equally," she said in an interview with the San Diego Tribune. "He was allowed to go back to England for a month [to recover while] I was given Episode 9 to shoot on my own. So I pushed through it and then by the end of that episode I was in urgent care. And all the doctors, including the doctors that the studio was sending, were all confirming, 'Hey, she can't work right now.'"
In a separate interview with the New York Times, Beharie reveals production was shut down on the show for two weeks. She also said she had daily checkups "to make sure I was actually sick" -- and when doctors deemed she needed to rest, Beharie added, "that's not what they wanted to hear."
"Months ensued and I got a lawyer. I got my hours down and worked through it," she continued. "But then I developed an autoimmune condition. I had C. difficile, which had me on eight different prescription medications."
Looking back, she told the NY Times that "Sometimes I think that some people I was working with didn't like that I was unwell but loved by the audience." She also added "everyone of color on that show was seen as expendable and eventually let go" -- likely referring to costars Orlando Jones, Lance Darnell Gross and John Cho.
Adding that she "never wanted to talk about this until the resentment and bitterness was out of my system," Beharie said she was also "labeled as problematic and blacklisted by some people."
"I tried to get work afterwards and people were like, 'We heard you were difficult.'" she added, "But no one can say I was late or unprofessional or negative."
She also claimed to have "lost out on a lot of jobs and opportunities because of how somebody labeled me."
After she was killed off in the Season 3 finale, the show only survived one additional season before it was canceled. These days, Beharie says she "no longer registers as having an autoimmune disease" and is in a "Very good place."
She's currently starring in "Miss Juneteenth," which is available now on VOD.