Barbara Walters may be retiring from television, but the writer who accused Walters and her former assistant of ripping-off his idea for the television show, “The View,” said Thursday that Walters’ retirement years will be spent in shame, fending off a mountain of incriminating evidence including phone records, eyewitness testimony and faxes that according to the writer prove Walters misappropriated his idea.
“In my opinion, and based on information and belief, Barbara Walters is a fraud and a liar,” said Jay Schorr, a writer from Hollywood, Florida who created Kmart’s ‘I Found Love At A Kmart Store’ advertising campaign. “Barbara Walters stole my idea for a women’s-oriented daily talk show then claimed it as her own. I don’t want money. I want an apology and vindication.”
Schorr said that instead of giving Walters a hero’s send-off on Friday’s episode of “The View,” Walters should be made to directly address the allegations he has levied against her and the mountain of evidence he cites in support of those allegations.
Schorr has offered to take a lie detector test and challenged Walters and her former assistant to do the same.
“If they didn’t steal my proposal for 'The View' then they’ve got nothing to fear by taking a lie detector test,” said Schorr. “Hiding behind ‘no comment’ statements by the ABC legal department is cowardly and disingenuous. It doesn’t pass the smell test.”
Schorr said that in November 1995 he created a women’s-oriented panel talk show entitled, “FEMI-9-1-1,” that focused on issues of importance to women. Schorr contacted Walters about hosting his show because of her illustrious interviewer background, name recognition, and prominent status as a respected newswoman.
According to Schorr, he submitted his program proposal to Barbara Walters through her personal assistant, who suggested he fax the proposal to her at Walters’ office. Schorr immediately faxed the presentation to the fax number provided. Schorr then called Walters’ assistant to confirm receipt of the materials.
“When I called to confirm receipt, the assistant said she’d placed the proposal on Walters’ desk for review and that she’d get back to me,” Schorr said. “When I didn’t hear anything from Walters, I assumed she wasn’t interested.”
But Schorr said Walters’ interest became all too clear when in 1997 ABC announced Walters would be hosting a new women’s panel talk show that she allegedly created called, “The View.”
“When ‘The View’ was first broadcast, Barbara Walters would open the show by saying, ‘I had an idea for a show,’” Schorr said. “To me that was like adding insult to injury. It was as if she was conscious that she’d stolen the show idea and was now trying to convince herself that she actually did create the show. If you say something enough times you begin to believe it.”
Schorr opined that perhaps comedienne Kathy Griffin, who was banned by Barbara Walters for life from appearing on “The View,” best summed up the hard-edged former newswoman.
“Griffin once said on Conan O’Brien’s show, ‘Don’t mess with [Walters] … she will cut a bitch,” Schorr said. “High praise indeed.”