A high-ranking NBCUniversal executive “found himself at the center of a real-life episode of international intrigue and high-stakes political drama,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment — the studio behind the “Jason Bourne” movies — got pulled out of an immigration processing line as he attempted to enter Russia on a business trip.
“Russian authorities refused to allow the NBCUniversal executive to enter the country late Tuesday, detaining him [in] a locked room at a Moscow airport for more than three hours,” the Times reports, noting: “The incident comes at a time when U.S. and Russian relations have become increasingly fragile and testy.”
In a phone interview with the paper, Shell said: “It was surreal and strange, and I did feel like I was in a ‘Jason Bourne’ movie.”
“No explanation for his detention was provided to Shell, who also serves as the chairman of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors,” the report notes. “That group oversees the U.S.-funded radio outlets Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, which are said to be unpopular with Russian leaders.”
The Times adds: “The Los Angeles native, who was traveling on business, said he strongly suspects that the incident was related to his role with the BBG and not his position at NBCUniversal.”