The Razzies are under scrutiny again after nominating 11-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong for worst actress.
Earlier this week, the Golden Razzie Awards announced their nominations for this year’s ceremony (sort of). Among the nominees was the 12-year-old Firestarter’s Ryan Kiera Armstrong for Worst Actress. The nomination hit the public domain hard, with filmmakers and the general public chastising the Razzie organization for targeting a child to highlight misfires in the film industry. Today, the Razzies’ John Wilson responded to the controversy by saying, “Sometimes you do things without thinking, then you get called out for it. Then you get it. That’s why the Razzies were created in the first place.”
Wilson added that the negativity toward the nomination is “valid criticism.” He also clarified that Armstrong’s name has been removed from the final vote and that the group is “adopting a voting guideline that excludes any artist or filmmaker under the age of 18 from consideration for our awards.”
You can read Wilson’s full statement below:
Sometimes you do things without thinking. Then you will be called out for it. Then you get it. That’s why the Razzies were created in the first place.
The recent valid criticism of the selection of 11-year-old Armstrong as a nominee for one of our awards made us aware of how insensitive we have been in this case. As a result, we have removed Armstrong’s name from the final ballot that our members will cast next month. We also believe that a public apology is owed to Ms. Armstrong, and would like to say that we apologize for any harm she experienced as a result of our choice.
Having learned from this lesson, we would also like to announce that from this point forward we are adopting a voting policy that excludes any artist or filmmaker under the age of 18 from being considered for our awards.
We never intended to bury anyone’s career. That’s why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, mostly ourselves.
Since our motto is “Own Your Bad”, we realize that we have to live up to it ourselves.
John Wilson, The Razzie Awards
What do you think of Wilson’s address and handling of this situation? Let us know in the comments.
The nominations for Golden Raspberry Awards was announced this week, with Blonde‘s eight lead the way, followed by the Kelly-directed machine gun Good grief and Disney’s Pinocchio. But none of the nominees have drummed up as much controversy and outrage as the 11-year-old star from Fire starterRyan Kiera Armstrong, nominated for the Razzies’ Worst Actress award.
As seen in the tweets below (just a small sampling of the wealth of anti-Razzies posts), many Razzies are calling Fire starter nod and their cruel designation of a teenager.
No wonder, Fire starter‘s Ryan Kiera Armstrong isn’t the only time the Razzies have nominated a child actor. The Golden Raspberries started this as early as their first ceremony, with a teenage Brooke Shields “winning” for The Blue Lagoon. They nominated Gary Coleman for 1981’s On the Right Track the following year. The track record includes Macaulay Culkin from the 1994s Richie Rich and Jake Lloyd in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Notably, Lloyd left the film industry after facing incessant bullying over the film.
With so much heat surrounding the nomination, one wonders if the Razzies will rescind the Worst Actress nod. It wouldn’t be out of place. Just last year, they did it with the worst performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 film, after the actor announced he was retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia. Before that, Razzies co-founder Maureen Murphy expressed regret over Shelley Duvall’s nomination for Evil hotel at the inauguration ceremony and said: “Knowing the backstory and the way Stanley Kubrick kind of pulverized her, I would take it back.” And they did just that, erasing the nomination from Razzie Records.
Fire starter is also nominated for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, which seems a far more appropriate category than the Razzies picking a pre-teen.
What do you think of the Razzies nominating Ryan Keira Armstrong for Fire starter? Should child actors be off-limits when it comes to such awards? Do you think they will withdraw the nomination? Let us know your point of view in the comment section below.