The 'Surviving R. Kelly' Premiere Was Disrupted By a Gun Threat
The event received an anonymous phone call that the Lifetime network confirms came from Chicago.
Screenshot from Surviving R. Kelly trailer
On Tuesday night, a New York City screening of a new documentary series about the sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly was evacuated after receiving an anonymous gun threat phoned in to the police. According to BuzzFeed News, the event was disrupted less than in hour into the screening. The night was meant to premiere Surviving R. Kelly, Lifetime's new six-hour, three-part series documenting the decades of allegations against him, including his 2002 arrest, as well as the recent reports of a "sex cult," and the #MuteRKelly movement.
Guests of the evening included women who have accused Kelly of sexual assault, including Kitti Jones who said she was trained to be the singer's "sex pet" in this year's BBC documentary, R. Kelly: Sex, Girls, and Videotape. Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, was also in attendance to moderate a conversation for sexual assault survivors.
"What happened tonight was awful, especially for the women who had bravely shared their painful stories on camera for the purpose of putting a stop to the violence R. Kelly has committed against young girls for decades," Burke told Buzzfeed News.
Although the Lifetime Network confirmed with The Hollywood Reporter the call came from Chicago, the identity of the caller remains unknown. Surviving R. Kelly is still scheduled to air on Lifetime this January, as confirmed in a tweet by executive producer, dream hampton. "We will not be shut down. He will deal. Airs January 3."
Kristin Corry is a staff writer for Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.