‘Misstepped Very Badly’: Razzies Co-Founder Responds To Criticism Over Nominating 12-Year-Old For Worst Actress

The Razzie Awards received flak after nominating a child actress for the Worst Actress category, which caused the organization’s cofounder to apologize for the misstep.

The Golden Raspberry Awards recognize the worst Hollywood movies every year on the night before the Academy Awards. This year, the biopic “Blonde” topped the Razzies with eight total nominations.

But some people were upset to see 12-year-old child star Ryan Kiera Armstrong nominated for Worst Actress for her work in the 2022 film adaptation of the Stephen King book “Firestarter.” Even though the film got terrible reviews, many pointed out that singling out a child star seemed cruel.

“The Razzies are run by soulless people. Nominating a 12 year old? F*** them,” actor and former child star Devon Sawa said in a now-deleted tweet. “That child could grow to be amazing if you haven’t gotten in their head.”

“The razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive & wrong,” child actor Julian Hilliard agreed. “Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better.”

Young actors have been up for Razzie Awards before, including Jake Lloyd for “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” and Macaulay Culkin for multiple projects. 

Razzies co-founder John Wilson said awards organizers debated whether to include Armstrong because she was so young but ultimately went along with the majority vote.

Nominees are decided by anyone who purchases an Annual Voting Razzie Membership, which goes for as little as $40. This lack of oversight means these parody awards aren’t taken seriously in the industry, yet they’ve still become a cultural phenomenon over their 40-year history.

Wilson told Buzzfeed News that he took into consideration that Armstrong was an “experienced actress, even if she’s only 12.”

“I can see how it could be taken that way [as mean]. I don’t think that was how it was meant,” the Razzies co-founder said. “I think people who get upset about it — I don’t even know how to say this. The rage is interesting — perhaps somewhat justified, but I think overblown.”

Despite having what he called good intentions, Wilson did apologize for the nomination. “The intent was to be funny. In this particular instance, we seem to have misstepped very badly. I would admit that,” he said.

Last year, Wilson rescinded Bruce Willis’s Razzie Award after it was revealed that the actor was experiencing symptoms of aphasia.

“If someone’s medical condition is a factor in their decision making and/or their performance, we acknowledge that it is not appropriate to give them a Razzie,” Wilson said at the time, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

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