Razzies Apologize to 12-Year-Old Actress for Firestarter Nomination



The Razzies have apologized to 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong for nominating her in their Worst Actress category for her role in Keith Thomas’s 2022 remake of Firestarter. The awards show has also promised not to nominate any actor under the age of 18 in the future.

Armstrong starred as a young girl with pyrokinetic powers named Charlie opposite Zac Efron in the 2022 remake of the 1984 Stephen King adaptation that originally starred Drew Barrymore. But when the Razzies released their 2023 nominations on Monday and put Armstrong up for Worst Actress, the awards show quickly received complaints about nominating a literal child with such a critical award.

“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,” Razzies founder John Wilson wrote in a statement.

“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,” Wilson added.

Fellow 11-year-old child actor Julian Hilliard, who appeared in Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and The Haunting of Hill House, tweeted from an account monitored by his parents in support of the Firestarter actress.

“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,” Hilliard wrote.

In the past, other child actors who have been nominated include Gary Coleman, who got a Razzie nomination at age 14, and Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated for three different movie performances at age 13. Last year, the Razzies also rescinded an entire category devoted to Bruce Willis after news of his diagnosis with Aphasia became public.

Read Wilson’s 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.

Sincerely,
John Wilson, The Razzie Awards

Main Image: Ryan Kiera Armstrong in Firestarter (2022). Photo Credit: Ken Woroner / Universal Pictures





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