Netflix’s popular political thriller House of Cards is set to return for a third season early next year. The production company recently requested the UN to allow it to film scenes from two episodes in the iconic Security Council chamber and the Delegates Lounge. Even though the executive office of the secretary general supports this request, members of the Council have a say in this matter. Russia, which happens to be a permanent member, has reservations against the TV series being filmed in the U.N. Security Council and has therefore opted to oppose the request.
Even if access to the Security Council is not granted for filming that doesn’t mean the production company won’t be allowed to film elsewhere in the U.N. headquarters. U.N. Department of Public Information believes that cooperating with the production will spread its message to a large global audience and educate them about the Security Council. The agency’s public affairs office has seen the scripts and has found them to be appropriate.
Mikael Agasandyan, a Russian diplomat, told council members in an email that they’re objecting to the proposed filming as “the Security Council premises should be available at any time and on short notice.” Moreover they believe that the premises are not an appropriate setting for filming or staging of any kind.
China expressed reservations about this as well but it agreed to reconsider if council members are shown the scripts. House of Cards happens to be quite popular down in China and the country featured extensively in the series’ second season.
Filming has been planned for mid-August when majority of the top ambassadors are on vacation. Moreover the U.N. promised to ensure that no emergency sessions were disturbed by the filming and that it would be allowed either at late nights or over the weekends. Some diplomats are holding on to the hope that Russia might reconsider though its diplomat hasn’t dropped any such hints.