Saturday, December 4, 2021

Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson Steps Down as Host of News and Doc Emmys

Carlos Watson
Image source: Twitter

*Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson will not be hosting the Emmy Awards ceremony for news and documentaries on Wednesday, and his exit comes amid a scathing New York Times exposé about a conference call gone wrong. 

According to the report, the co-founder of Watson’s company impersonated a YouTube executive during a funding call with a Goldman Sachs banker. 

Here’s more from the report:

When YouTube learned that someone had apparently impersonated one of their executives at a business meeting, its security team started an investigation. The inquiry didn’t get far before a name emerged: Within days, Mr. Watson had apologized profusely to Goldman Sachs, saying the voice on the call belonged to Samir Rao, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Ozy, according to the four people.

The incident has prompted a review of Ozy’s leadership.

READ MORE: This Carlos Watson Interview of Multi-dimensional Actor Boris Kodjoe is Very, Very Satisfying / WATCH

“OZY asked Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to review the company’s business activities in response to reports of behavior that did not meet our standards and values,” the company said in a board statement. I “We also asked Chief Operating Officer Samir Lao to take a leave of absence until the results of the investigation are available. Over the next few months, we will continue to review the company’s leadership and former Executive President and Chief Financial Officer of Hearst Television. We are pleased that Harry Hawks has agreed to serve as Interim CFO throughout this transition and review period. “

A representative for the 42nd News & Documentary Emmy Awards said of Watson’s exit as host: “Carlos Watson has graciously reached out to us and asked to be removed from his hosting duties tomorrow night so as not to distract the focus from the talented nominees in the documentary categories of the 42nd News & Documentary Emmy Awards,” a rep told TheWrap. “As such, we are moving forward with our three presenters who will be sharing the hosting duties throughout the evening.”

The three presenters who will share the duties are documentarians June Cross, CJ Hunt and Sonja Sohn.

On Monday, Watson told TheWrap that the Times piece is “a bulls— ad hominem attack,” and he defended Rao.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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