The Razzie Awards have introduced an age limit for nominations following the blowback after 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong (pictured above) was nominated for Worst Actress.
In a statement, Razzies founder John Wilson apologized and confirmed that Armstrong’s name had been removed from the ballot. He also said that in the future, under-18s would not be eligible to be nominated for the awards.
There was heavy criticism after the Razzies – which celebrate the ‘worst’ performances and movies of the year – nominated Armstrong for his performance in ‘Firestarter’. The film, which also stars Zac Efron, carries the line: “A young girl tries to figure out how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.” Efron wasn’t nominated, though the film itself scored a Worst Remake/Rip-off/Sequel nod.
Among those who criticized the decision to nominate Armstrong was former child actor Devon Sawa, who reportedly tweeted, “The Razzies are run by soulless people. Name a 12-year-old child? Fuck them. This child could become amazing if you didn’t get inside his head. (It appears Sawa has since deleted his tweet.)
And fellow child actor Julian Hilliard, who appeared in ‘WandaVision’ and ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, also threw his support behind Armstrong, writing: ‘Razzies are already petty and classless, but name a child is just repulsive & wrong. Why put a child at increased risk of bullying or worse? Be better.”
In a statement, Wilson called the review “valid” and said Armstrong’s name was removed from the ballot. He added: “We also believe that a public apology is due to Ms Armstrong and would like to say that we regret any injury 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 out for it. So you get it. This is 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 has drawn our attention to our callousness in this case. Accordingly, we have removed Armstrong’s name from the final ballot that our members will cast next month. We also believe that a public apology is due to Ms. Armstrong and would like to say that we regret any harm she has suffered as a result of our choices.
Having learned from this lesson, we would also like to announce that effective immediately, we are adopting a voting guideline prohibiting any artist or filmmaker under the age of 18 from being considered for our awards.
We never intended to bury anyone’s career. This is why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, ourselves included.
Since our motto is “Own Your Bad”, we realize that we ourselves have to live up to it.
John Wilson, the Razzie Awards