The screening at NeueHouse Madison Square began at 7 p.m. ET. However, the venue was evacuated after an anonymous caller told the Manhattan theater that there were gunmen inside the premiere.
Variety reports that the first episode of Surviving R. Kelly had aired and that the night had moved on to a panel discussion with several of the women featured in the docuseries, including Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee, Lizzette Martinez, Kitti Jones, and Jerhonda Pace, when the call came to evacuate.
"As a precaution we evacuated," an unnamed 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."
Attendees like cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux, #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign, and author Feminista Jones shared on-the-ground reports of the canceled event on Twitter.
The Hollywood Reporter shared that the calls originated from the Chicago area, though the event was held in New York.
Executive producer dream hampton took to Twitter to address the incident:
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...— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) December 5, 2018
"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," hampton told CNN via email.
This post was updated at 11:59 p.m. ET.