After facing intense backlash for including a 12-year-old among 2023’s worst performers, the Razzie Awards are taking back the unwelcome recognition and imposing age minimums for future nominees.
The infamous annual list, also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, was announced on Sunday and included Ryan Kiera Armstrong, who starred in the 2022 horror film “Firestarter,” in its worst-actress category.
Armstrong, who has also appeared in “Black Widow,” “American Horror Story” and “Anne With an E,” was nominated alongside Alicia Silverstone (“The Requin”), Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World Dominion”), Diane Keaton (“Mack & Rita”) and Kaya Scodelario (“The King’s Daughter”).
“In light of feedback (which we’ve come to agree with) the @RazzieAwards will not be including Ryan Kiera Armstrong on the final voting ballot,” the organization said in a Tuesday tweet.
“Sometimes, you do things without thinking, Then you are called out for it. Then you get it. It’s why the Razzies were created in the first place,” Razzies co-founder John Wilson said in a separate response provided to The Times.
Wilson called the criticism about Armstrong’s nomination “valid” and said that it brought their attention “to how insensitive we’ve been in this instance.”
“As a result, we have removed Armstrong’s name from the Final Ballot that our members will cast next month. We also believe a public apology is owed [to] Ms. Armstrong, and wish to say we regret any hurt she experienced as a result of our choices,” Wilson said.
Wilson added that the organization would adopt a voting guideline “precluding any performer or film-maker under 18 years of age from being considered” for their dubious honor.
“We have never intended to bury anyone’s career. It is why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, very much us included,” Wilson said. “Since our motto is ‘Own Your Bad,’ we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it.”
Still, the social-media uproar was swift. One critic, “Final Destination” and “Now and Then” actor Devon Sawa, was among those who called out the organization for being run by “soulless people.”
“That child could grow to be amazing if you haven’t gotten in their head,” he wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
“The razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive & wrong. Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better,” added 11-year-old “WandaVision” actor Julian Hilliard.
“If you want to know how scummy the Razzie awards are, look no further than them nominating a 12-year-old for worst actress,” said another Twitter user.
“Yearly reminder that the Razzies are an immature, cruel vestige of a time when lowbrow bullying was a totally accepted form of ‘comedy.’ They have no reason to exist other than pure meanness and spite,” wrote another.
The parody awards were established in 1981 to recognize the worst in cinema and as a foil to the more prestigious Oscars. But its co-founder on Wednesday seemed to recognize that there was little humor in picking on a young entertainer.
Representatives for Armstrong did not immediately respond Wednesday to The Times’ requests for comment.
Last spring, the Razzies also retracted their 2021 special category for worst performance by Bruce Willis after the action star’s family announced that he’d be retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a cognitive disorder that impairs a person’s ability to speak and understand others.