American megahit TV series House of Cards has had its request to film scenes at the UN Security Council chamber vetoed by Russia’s United Nations delegation, who cited the need to keep the room available to deal with unexpected global crises rather than TV shows. The veto came just days after the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon signed off on the request to film two episodes in the chamber, an opportunity which the UN reportedly hoped would raise awareness of their work.
The American political drama follows the Machiavellian protagonist, politician Frank Underwood, and his quest for power.
In an email seen by Foreign Policy, Russian diplomat Mikael Agasandyan wrote: “Upon thorough reflection, we are objecting to the proposed filming in the Security Council. We are of [the] opinion that the Security Council premises should be available at any time and on short notice. Besides that, we consistently insist that the Security Council premises are not an appropriate place for filming, staging, etc.”
Many disappointed fans have decried the move as a manifestation of the current power play between Russian and the US, with Hollywood screenwriter Cole Haddon writing on his Twitter “Vladimir Putin: 1. Frank Underwood: 0”.
The UN has been approached with requests to film on their premises before, with director Alfred Hitchcock’s plea to film a murder scene from his 1959 movie North by Northwest in the UN’s North Delegate Lounge rejected.