The Razzie Awards have introduced an age limit for nominations following 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 Armstrong’s name has been removed from the ballot. He also said that going forward under-18s would not be eligible to be nominated for the awards.
There was strong criticism after the Razzies — which celebrate the “worst” performances and films of the year — nominated Armstrong for her performance in “Firestarter.” The film, which also stars Zac Efron, bears the logline: “A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.” Efron was not nominated, although the film itself scored a nod for Worst Remake/Rip-off/Sequel.
Among those criticizing the decision to nominate Armstrong was former child actor Devon Sawa, who reportedly tweeted: “The Razzies are run by soulless people. Nominating a 12-year-old? F**k them. That child could grow to be amazing if you haven’t gotten in their head.” (It appears Sawa since deleted his tweet.)
And fellow child actor Julian Hilliard, who has appeared in “WandaVision” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” also lent Armstrong his support, writing: “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.”
In a statement, Wilson called the criticism “valid” and said Armstrong’s name had been removed from the ballot. He added: “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.”
Read the full statement 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