'Surviving R. Kelly' Premiere Evacuated Due to Gun Threat
By Jennifer Drysdale
Scott Legato/Getty Images
Guests at the Surviving R. Kelly premiere on Tuesday were forced to evacuate after a gun threat was called to the venue, ET confirms.
The event, which was held at NeueHouse Madison Square in New York City, was attended by special guests like Kelly's accusers, Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee and Lizzette Martinez, as well as #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. ET has reached out to the NYPD for comment.
"At tonight’s premiere of Lifetime’s documentary series Surviving R. Kelly at NeueHouse Madison Square, several anonymous threats were called in. As a precaution, the network elected to evacuate the building. The safety and security of our panel, guests and staff is of paramount importance to Lifetime," the network said in a statement.
"NeueHouse has always existed to celebrate creatives, entrepreneurs and activists with important and meaningful stories to share. The safety of our storytellers and of our members is always our first priority. Tonight was no different," a spokesperson for the venue told ET. "Despite non-credible threats called in during tonight’s screening, we followed appropriate safety protocols in collaboration with the NYPD and elected to postpone the event. We stand by the creative women bringing these heroic stories to light."
Burke also took to Twitter Tuesday evening to comment on the incident.
"So...Y’ALL ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! Tonight was a private screening of the @lifetimetv documentary #survivingRkelly where his survivors, parents of survivors, and folks featured in the doc were gathered and a BOMB THREAT was called in and the event shut down. #muteRkelly," she tweeted.
Burke continued: "The worst of it isn’t the threat though bc it didn’t appear to be credible but the survivors who had to endure his harassment. #muteRkelly."
The worst of it isn’t the threat though bc it didn’t appear to be credible but the survivors who had to endure his harassment. #muteRkelly
The #MuteRKelly hashtag was supported by the Women of Color of Time's Up in May, calling for a boycott of Kelly in response to decades of sexual assault allegations against the musician. He has previously vehemently denied the claims. Regardless, the hashtag led Spotify to remove Kelly from its playlists and algorithm recommendations. Additionally, several of the R&B singer's tour dates were canceled.
Kelly -- who has never been convicted of a crime -- appeared to address the controversy in a 19-minute song he released in July called "I Admit."Surviving R. Kelly brings forward his accusers to tell their stories.
Surviving R. Kelly is set to air over three nights, starting Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.