Following blowback after nominating 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong for Worst Actress, the Razzie Awards have introduced an age limit for their nominations and will remove Armstrong’s name from the ballot.
In a statement (via Variety), Razzies founder John Wilson apologized for the initial nomination. Wilson also said that in the future, anyone under 18 would not be eligible to be nominated for any of their awards. The move comes following the large backlash that the award show — which acts as a celebration of the “worst” movies and performances of the year — listed Armstrong as one of the nominees for “Worst Actress,” due to her performance in the 2022 film Firestarter.
Once the nomination was made public, it received almost immediate backlash, including from many in the world of Hollywood. In a since-deleted tweet, former child actor Devon Sawa condemned the decision, saying “The Razzies are run by soulless people. Nominating a 12-year-old? F— them. That child could grow to be amazing if you haven’t gotten in their head.”
In another tweet, child actor Julian Hilliard (WandaVision, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) also criticized the decision, calling the award show “mean-spirited and classes,” and saying that the decision to nominate Armstrong could open her up to a “risk of increased bullying.”
The full statement from Wilson can be read below:
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.
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.
Having learned from this lesson, we would also like to announce that, from this point forward, we are adopting a Voting Guideline precluding any performer or film-maker under 18 years of age from being considered for our awards.
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.
Since our motto is “Own Your Bad,” we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it.
John Wilson, The Razzie Awards