R Kelly
R. Kelly performs onstage during R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons at the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, June 30, 2013. Getty Images/ Earl Gibson III

The screening of Lifetime’s upcomingdocumentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” held in NeueHouse, Madison Square, New York, was evacuated after the organizers received a gun threat.

"As a precaution we evacuated," a Lifetime representative told The Hollywood Reporter. "Tonight's all about the safety of everyone, we're not even thinking of what to do next yet.”

The premiere began at 7 p.m. EST, which was followed by a panel discussion at 8 p.m. EST. The event was supposed to end with a reception. About 15 minutes into the panel, the venue received two calls, presumably from the same caller, who said that someone in the venue was carrying a firearm. The calls were rerouted to the New York Police Department (NYPD) who suggested evacuating the theater.

Videos from the aftermath of the evacuations were posted on social media by multiple Twitter users. In the videos, guests dressed in formal wear could be seen standing on the sidewalk in front of the venue:

(Warning: The videos contain strong language.)

The event was attended by #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux and #OscarSoWhite activist April Reign. The accusers of the R&B singer R. Kelly – the artist on whose allegations the documentary focuses on – including Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee and Lizzette Martinez, were also present at the premiere and had to evacuate with others.

“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,” Burke tweeted.

It was later revealed that the threat in question was not of a bomb but of gun violence. “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,” she added in another tweet.

The premiere was called off and the organizers of the screening said they will regroup in the near future and figure out a date for a rescheduling the event. No potential dates have been announced as of yet.

The tipster who called in the gun threat remained anonymous and there was no way to identify the individual. However, according to Lifetime, the call originated in Chicago. The NYPD did not immediately confirm if they were investigating the scene at the screening.

“Surviving R. Kelly” is a six-part documentary series, which premieres on Jan. 3, that gives the accusers of the Grammy award-winning artist a platform to tell their stories about sexual misconduct and abuse they had allegedly suffered at the hands of Kelly. Apart from years of sexual violence, Kelly was also accused last year by a set of parents of running a “sex cult” where he held their daughters against their will.

Kelly denied the allegations and was never formally charged. However, renewed attention on the accusations through a Buzzfeed article published in 2017, led to a #MuteRKelly movement on social media earlier this year. The movement resulted in the singer’s tour dates being canceled and Spotify removing Kelly from its playlists and algorithm recommendations. Times Up, the movement against sexual harassment and was founded on Jan. 1, 2018, by Hollywood celebrities, called for an official investigation against the singer.