The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.
Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.
However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.
Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.
Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.
“The Razzies have sunk to a new low by nominating an eleven-year-old girl — whose performance I actually dug,” tweeted filmmaker Joe Russo of the Russo Brothers. “If you’re gonna continue denigrating people’s hard work — which you shouldn’t — at least target adults.”
‘Firestarter’: Blumhouse Reboot Of Stephen King Classic Finds Their ‘Charlie’ In Ryan Kiera Armstrong – First Look https://t.co/UpB3E2zYrF— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) June 2, 2021
Julian Hilliard, a fellow child actor known for "The Haunting of Hill House," added, "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."
Due to the backlash, the Razzies eventually retracted Armstrong’s nomination and set a new age rule that no one under the age of 18 could receive a nomination moving forward.In a statement, Razzie Award founder John Wilson wrote, "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."
He continued, "The recent valid criticism of the choice of 11-year-old Armstrong as a nominee for one of our awards brought our 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 Ms. Armstrong, and wish to say we regret any hurt she experienced as a result of our choices."
The statement concluded, "We all make mistakes, very much us included. Since our motto is 'Own Your Bad,' we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it."
Only last year, the Razzies were again the subject of criticism after featuring a special "Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie" category. The joke was quickly rescinded after Willis’ aphasia diagnosis became public and his family announced that he would be stepping away from acting due to his neurological disorder.
While part of "owning your bad" is certainly acknowledging a mistake, another important step is taking action that prevents further harm from happening. Luckily it seems that the Razzies are at least attempting to deliver that with their latest rule adjustments.