Russia, China Block 'House of Cards' UN Location Shoot
Published: July 3, 2014 (Issue # 1818)
Russia's UN delegation has blocked a request by the producers of "House of Cards" to use its New York headquarters as the backdrop to two episodes of the hit series, a news report said.
The scenes in question would have "depicted a meeting of the Security Council, as well as depicting behind the scenes discussions between ambassadors," British diplomat Michael Tatham wrote in an email to council members, news website Foreign Policy reported Tuesday.
Taham said the shooting would help raise the public profile of the Security Council and the UN as a whole, setting a deadline of 6 p.m. Tuesday for member states to raise their objections, the report said.
Film buffs may have expected Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, to welcome the producers' request, having starred in several films in his youth before casting aside his acting ambitions in favor of a career in diplomacy.
Less than half an hour before the deadline, however, the Russian delegation answered the request with a resounding "nyet."
In an email to council members, Russian diplomat Mikhail Agasandyan defended the veto, arguing the "premises should be available at any time and on short notice. Besides that, we insist that the Security Council premises are not an appropriate place for filming, staging, etc.," Foreign Policy reported.
China — with whom Russia has sided to block four Security Council resolutions on boosting aid to war-torn Syria — echoed Agasandyan's reservations.
"I think Mikhail's argument is reasonable," Bo Shen, a political counsellor at the Chinese mission the the UN, was quoted as saying by Foreign Policy.
House of Cards, which features Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey, is a political drama detailing the schemings of politicians and lobbyists on Capitol Hill. The show has received rave reviews by critics since it was premiered by Netflix in February 2013.