Executive producer, dream hampton, calls the threats an act of "desperation."
The premiere Surviving R. Kelly docuseries premiere began at 7 pm at NeueHouse Madison Square on Tuesday evening. Attendees and participants were evacuated following threats against the venue. Anonymous calls threatened the event organizers with the alleged presence of gunmen 15 minutes before the 8 pm panel discussion. Police have traced the anonymous tips back to Chicago.
A statement released by the Lifetime network confirmed the reason for the cancelation: “At tonight’s premiere of Lifetime’s documentary series Surviving R. Kelly at NeueHouse Madison Square, several anonymous threats were called in. As a precaution, the network elected to evacuate the building. The safety and security of our panel, guests and staff is of paramount importance to Lifetime.”
Chance Yeh/Getty Images
Multiple women featured in the production were invited to take part in the panel discussion, including Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee, Lizzette Martinez, Kitti Jones, and Jerhonda Pace.
dream hampton, the series' executive producer, address her disappointment via Twitter: "Tonight re-traumatized the survivors who were brave enough to sit with me and share their stories and who were at the screening. They’ve received SO MUCH hate for coming forward. Trust, there’s no payday for them..."
She also gave a commented on the anonymous caller's actions to CNN via email: "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.