Nomination of 12-Year-Old for Worst Actress Causes Backlash

Razzie Awards says under-18s will no longer be eligible
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2023 6:15 PM CST
Razzies Promises to Stop Nominating Child Actors
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Ryan Kiera Armstrong in a scene from "Firestarter."   (Ken Woroner/Universal Pictures via AP)

The founder of the Razzie Awards for the year's worst movies and performances says child actors will no longer be eligible for this dishonor. After a backlash over the nomination of 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the worst actress category for her role in the Firestarter remake, John Wilson said her name had been removed and under-18s would no longer be nominated in any Razzie categories, Variety reports. "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 choice," Wilson said in a statement. Armstrong was 11 years old during filming of Firestarter, which was also nominated in the worst remake/rip-off/sequel category.

"The razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive & wrong," 11-year-old Wandavision actor Julian Hilliard tweeted after Armstrong was nominated. "Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better." Wilson acknowledged that criticism of the choice was valid. "Sometimes, you do things without thinking," he said. "Then you are called out for it. Then you get it. It's why the Razzies were created in the first place."

The Guardian notes that Armstrong isn't the first child actor nominated in the 42-year history of the Razzies: Jake Lloyd was nominated for his role in The Phantom Menace, and Macaulay Culkin was nominated for his performances in three movies in 1995, including Richie Rich. Last year, a Razzie in a category created just for Bruce Willis was retracted within days after the actor's diagnosis of a cognitive ailment became public. (More Razzies stories.)

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