Surviving R. Kelly Premiere Screening Evacuated Due to Gun Threat

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In New York City, a premiere screening of Lifetime’s forthcoming documentary series Surviving R. Kelly was reportedly evacuated on Tuesday night after a gun threat was called into the venue.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, several prominent organizers, including #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign attended the screening, which was being held at NeueHouse Madison Square. Critic and editor Jamilah Lemieux and several of Kelly’s accusers—including Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee and Lizzette Martinez—also attended and were subsequently forced to leave the theater.

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A Lifetime spokesperson told THR that the call was placed in Chicago by an anonymous interlocutor. “As a precaution, we evacuated,” the spokesperson said. “Tonight’s all about the safety of everyone—we’re not even thinking of what to do next.” According to reports from the scene, everyone is safe and no injuries were sustained.

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The six-hour series, which was announced in May and will be released on January 3, features more than 50 interviews, including women who say they survived Kelly’s abuse. Kelly has been accused of a range of predatory behavior including violence, coercion, and running a “sex cult.”

The series’ executive producer and showrunner Dream Hampton wrote in a statement to CNN, “Calling in a noncredible threat to the NYPD to interrupt our screening IS an act of desperation from people who don’t want these truths shared with the world.”

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Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights