A screening and panel session in New York on Tuesday night was called off after an anonymous male caller threatened violence against the venue.
A public screening of the upcoming docu-series ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ in New York City was cancelled last night, after the venue received an anonymous threat of gun violence over the event.
The six-part Lifetime documentary series, concerning the stories of survivors of alleged abuse at the hands of R&B singer R. Kelly and featuring more than 50 interviewees, was called off and evacuated after “anonymous threats” were made by a caller to the NeueHouse Madison Square venue on Tuesday night (December 4th).
A male caller from Chicago reportedly said that an audience member in the theatre was in possession of a gun and would shoot if the documentary was shown, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
While a spokesperson for the venue said the threats were “non-credible”, the Lifetime network said they “elected to evacuate the building”.
R. Kelly has faced allegations of sexual misconduct for several years
On top of long-standing allegations of sexual misconduct, 51 year old singeR Kelly has also been accused of running a “sex cult”, allegedly imprisoning women, controlling their behaviour and forcing them to have sex with one another. Kelly has consistently denied all allegations of wrong-doing.
After the first episode was supposed to have been debuted last night, a panel event, featuring some of the people featured in the documentary, was scheduled to take place.
Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, was due to appear on that panel alongside four of Kelly’s accusers following the screening. She tweeted: “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.”
Another panel participant, Kitti Jones, who last year accused Kelly of physical and sexual abuse, told Rolling Stone: “This just speaks to how much power there is in numbers, that someone felt the need to threaten the event. But we won’t be intimidated or silenced and we hope this brings even more attention to the legitimacy of our stories and how important this documentary is to the movement.”