NBC Universal CEO resigns amid allegations of ‘inappropriate relations’

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell abdicated his position at the media giant after admitting to engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer.

Several outlets reported that the decision for Shell’s resignation was a mutual parting between Shell and Comcast, which oversees NBC Universal.

Shell, who is married, said on Sunday in his resignation announcement,

Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret. I’m truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they are the most talented people in the business and the opportunity to work with them the last 19 years has been a privilege

Shell had taken the post of CEO at NBC Universal at the beginning of 2020. During his tenure, he developed the NBC streaming service Peacock, which the network giant launched in an effort to keep up with the services produced by Disney and other outlets.

According to CNBC, the predicted outlook on Peacock’s financial success for 2023 appears bleak. Experts believe the streaming service could lose up to $3 billion this year.

Before his time as NBC Universal CEO, Shell had previously served in various other high-level capacities at NBC and its affiliates.

Author’s Biblical Analysis

For Christians, there is a simple, yet profound reminder that we see in this unfortunate news.

Before we get into it, it would be wise for us to keep Shell and his family in prayer. As we explore the lessons we can learn from this situation, let us tread graciously, for we remember that these are real people with real hurts and real sin struggles, and these tendencies are common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13).

With that in mind, let us remember this lesson: Keep the marriage bed pure.

For those who are not married, this still applies to you. The way you can “keep the marriage bed pure” in this season of your life is to abstain from sexual immorality before marriage (Ephesians 5). Many will ask, “Well, how far am I allowed to go?” I think a better question is, “How strictly should I set my boundaries so I am not lusting after someone who I have not entered into a covenant relationship with?”

For those who are married, we must be vigilant in the protection of our marriages. I believe the scripture is overwhelmingly clear that marriage is ordained by God as the life-long covenant commitment between one man and one woman. This one man and one woman are to be sexually and emotionally devoted to one another, exclusively. Anything outside of this, or any kind of altering of this divine order, is a sinful perversion.

For some of us, perhaps we are tempted in the ways that Jeff Shell was. I would urge you, if you are in a situation where you are becoming increasingly and inappropriately friendly with someone who is not your spouse, do not give the devil even one foothold. Follow the example of Joseph when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife: run in the other direction.

This could mean hurt feelings. This could mean cutting off communication altogether with the person with whom you are tempted to sin. This is a cost you must be willing to pay. Protect the integrity of your marriage bed, and protect the covenant you made with your spouse before God.

If you have crossed this boundary, your task is far more difficult. You now must, as Shell did publicly yesterday, own up to what you have done.

First, admit it to God, as all sin is an affront against Him (Psalm 51:4), and then go to your spouse. This is part of being a man or woman of integrity. Admit what you have done, own up to it, and accept whatever the consequences may be.

This may mean separation. This may mean you must forfeit, perhaps for a season or perhaps for a lifetime, positions of leadership and service in your church. It may mean a loss of trust and respect.

Remember to keep your heart humble. We see in scripture, mainly in David’s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51, how valuable to the Lord is a broken and contrite heart. The Lord, as He so often does, brings beauty out of ashes when we admit our sin and come to Him seeking His mercy. He will always show mercy and grace to those who ask for it.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.  – Psalm 51:17

I say none of this as a scare tactic, nor do I do it to try to shock you into holiness. I say it entirely for your joy. There is wonderful joy and peace that comes to a person when we are walking with God in integrity.

This is my prayer for you, that there would be no skeletons in your closet, especially in the one relationship that, outside of your relationship with God, is of utmost importance: your marriage.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled…  – Hebrews 13:4