Ken Woroner/Universal Pictures Ryan Kiera Armstrong in Firestarter
The Razzie Awards are walking back one of its picks for the "worst" of the year after backlash for selecting a 12-year-old actress.
Earlier this week, the Razzies, an unaffiliated foil to the Oscars that instead picks on the so-called "worst" movies of the year, announced the nominees for 2023. Among the selections was Firestarter actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong under the category "worst actress," which also included Bryce Dallas Howard, Diane Keaton, Kaya Scodelario and Alicia Silverstone.
People on social media expressed outrage over the organizers naming a child actor on its list. Devon Sawa, known for films like Final Destination and Little Giants, spoke out on Twitter, saying in a since-deleted tweet, "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."
WandaVision actor Julian Hilliard, 11, tweeted, "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."
The official Razzies Twitter account then posted on Tuesday, "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. @DevonESawa."
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In an additional statement obtained by Variety, Razzies founder John Wilson apologized and said they will no longer nominate people under 18. He called the outrage "valid criticism" that "brought our attention to how insensitive we've been in this instance."
"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," Wilson said. "... 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 filmmaker under 18 years of age from being considered for our awards," he continued. "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."