The Razzie Awards introduced an age limit for nominations following negative backlash after 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong (pictured above) was nominated for Worst Actress.
In a statement, Razzies founder John Wilson apologized and confirmed Armstrong’s name was removed from the ballot. He also said that moving forward those under the age of 18 would not be eligible to be nominated for the awards.
There was intense criticism after the Razzies – which celebrate the worst shows and movies of the year – nominated Armstrong for her performance in “Firestarter.” The movie, which also stars Zac Efron, has the tagline: “A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set fire to her mind.” Efron wasn’t nominated, though the movie itself scored a nod for Worst Remake/Rip-off/Sequel.
Among those who criticized the decision to nominate Armstrong was former child actor Devon Sawa, who responded on Twitter: “The Razzies are run by soulless people. Nominating 12 years? F**k them. This kid could grow up to be amazing if you weren’t in.” in his head.” (Sawa appears to have since deleted his tweet.)
Fellow child actor Julian Hilliard, who has appeared in “WandaVision” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” also lent his support to Armstrong, writing, “The Raziers are already hotheaded and layerless, but to nominate a child is just plain hateful and wrong. Why show child at increased risk of bullying or worse?
In a statement, Wilson called the criticism “correct” and said Armstrong’s name was removed from the ballot. He added, “We also believe a public apology is due to Ms. Armstrong, and we would like to say that we regret any harm she has suffered as a result of our choices.”
Read the full statement below:
Sometimes, you do things without thinking, and then you get called to it. Then you get it. That’s why Razzies were created in the first place.
A recent valid criticism of the selection of 11-year-old Armstrong as a nominee for one of our awards has drawn our attention to how insensitive we are in this case. As a result, we’ve removed Armstrong’s name from the final ballot our members will cast next month. We also believe that a public apology is due to Mrs. Armstrong, and we would like to say that we regret any harm you have suffered as a result of our choices.
Having learned this lesson, we would also like to announce that from this point forward, we are adopting voting guidelines that prohibit any artist or filmmaker under the age of 18 from being nominated for our awards.
We never intended to bury anyone’s career. That’s why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, including many of us.
Since our motto is “own your bad,” we know we must also live up to it.
John Wilson, Razzie Awards
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