Razzie Award founder John Wilson has apologised to 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong for nominating her in the Worst Actress category for her performance in last year's film Firestarter. He also added that actors under 18 would not be considered for nominations any more. The organisation, which annually nominates the worst in film, received backlash from film fans and former and current child artistes who condemned their bullying of a young actor.
On Sunday, the Razzies revealed their list of the “worst” films and performances of 2022. Blonde, starring Ana de Armas, led the nominations with eight nods. Ryan, who starred in the film adaptation of Stephen King's novel, was nominated alongside Alicia Silverstone for The Requin, Bryce Dallas Howard for Jurassic World Dominion, Diane Keaton for Mack & Rita, and Kaya Scodelario for The King’s Daughter.
Afterwards, Twitter was filled with tweets condemning the organisation for picking on a young actor. Julian Hilliard, who acted in Disney's WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, wrote, "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, Razzie founder John shared, “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."
He added, "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."
John concluded his letter stating, "Since our motto is ‘Own Your Bad,’ we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it."
The winners for their 43rd edition will be announced on 11 March, one day before the Oscars.