‘Surviving R Kelly’ documentary premiere cancelled after shooting threat
An anonymous caller claimed that an audience member would fire a gun if the documentary, detailing allegations of sexual assault by the R&B singer, was screened, reports say
Wed 5 Dec 2018 05.46 EST Last modified on Wed 5 Dec 2018 05.48 EST
The premiere of a documentary series about the survivors of alleged abuse by the singer R Kelly was cancelled and evacuated after a gun threat. “Anonymous threats” were made to the NeueHouse Madison Square venue in New York City, a representative for the US television network Lifetime told Rolling Stone.
The venue had received two calls from an unidentified male caller, who said that someone in the theatre had a gun and would shoot if the documentary was shown, the magazine was told. A spokesperson for the venue said the threats were “non-credible”. Lifetime said the building was evacuated “as a precaution”. Kelly has not commented on the incident.
Surviving R Kelly is a six-part Lifetime series that focuses on some of the women who have accused the R&B singer of sexual misconduct. Among them is Kitti Jones, who last year accused Kelly of physical abuse, sexual coercion, emotional manipulation and controlling her life, and was due to appear at the New York event.
From left, Lizzette Martinez, Andrea Kelly, Lisa van Allen, Tarana Burke, Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Asante McGee and Gretchen Carlson prior to the cancelled screening of Surviving R Kelly. Photograph: Chance Yeh/Getty Images for A+E
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’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, has also accused him of domestic abuse. Kelly has always denied the allegations. In a 19-minute song released in July, he said he had been “falsely accused”.
A tweet by Tarana Burke on this issue
Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, was due to appear on a panel alongside four of Kelly’s accusers after 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.”
Burke ended her tweet with “#muteRkelly”, referencing the campaign that is putting pressure on the singer’s record label, concert promoters and streaming platforms to cut ties with the star.
Kitti Jones 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.”
Source: The Guardian