Former producer says Ozy built a TV Show on a false claim
During the summer of 2020, Brad Bessey was winding down for a longer career in television. One of those includes two daytime Emmy Awards. he further stints as an executive producer at ” The Talk ” and “Entertainment Tonight.”
He was also eager to make some contribution in the summer of George Floyd and Covid. So when his agent finally approached him about working for a talk show on important social issues, he jumped at it. However, a false claim regarding a TV show has followed it.
In June 2020, Mr. Bessey started to work as the executive producer at “The Carlos Watson Show,” which is a daily half-hour interview program. Ozy Media produced it, and the chief executive Mr. Watson hosted it. Mr. Watson and the chief operating officer of Ozy, Samir Rao, said that the show would appear on Primetime on A&E, the cable channel. It was scheduled for an August debut. Mr. Bessey also showed an email that Mr. Rao sent him the day before his work started on the show.
There were early red flags. In an interview, Mr. Bessey said that he had no contact with A&E executives during the making of this show. When he asked Mr. Watson and Mr. Rao about it, they said that the executives wanted to speak to them. When Mr. Bessey said that he knows some A&E executives, they told him not to. Another warning sign was one of the producers that pointed out that A&E has scheduled the Hoarders for the time slot for The Carlos Watson Show.
Besides Mr. Bessey, Heidi Clements, a veteran TV writer who was among the producers, said that she was told that the program would appear on A&E.
Ms. Clements says that she got inspired by Mr. Watson’s pitch for the show during 45 minutes of call before she became part of the staff. She added that she was part of a “great white awakening” during the summer of civil rights protests.
A&E Networks had a previous relationship with Ozy. Mr. Bessey said that he resigned when he knew that the show would not appear on the channel. He said that he told the staff that he was leaving during a Zoom call on Aug 3. Mr. Watson was also present in the call. The producer also said that it would not be shown on A&E.
At the start of 2001, Mr. Watson was in deep talks with Goldman Sachs about the ability of the $40 million investment in Ozy. A Goldman executive sent an email to Mr. Watson and Mr. Rao to speak on YouTube.
The response came from Mr. Rao while connecting the investors to a Gmail address of Alex Piper. That email address turned out to be fake. On Feb 2, the Goldman Sachs team was on a conference call where they made a false claim that Ozy’s videos were a great success.