The Razzie Awards introduced an age limit on nominations after 12-year-old Ryan Kyra 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 future, under-18s cannot be nominated for awards.
There was heavy criticism after the Razzies, which celebrate the year’s “worst” performances and films, nominated Armstrong for his performance in Firestarter. The film, which also stars Zac Efron, has the following tagline: “A young girl tries to figure out how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.” Efron was not nominated, though the film itself won Worst Remake/Rip/Sequel.
Among those criticizing the decision to nominate Armstrong was former child actor Devon Sawa, who tweeted: Nominating a 12-year-old? F**k them. That kid can become amazing if you don’t think in his head.” (Sawa appears to have deleted his tweet.)
And fellow child actor Julian Hilliard, who starred in WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, also expressed his support for Armstrong, writing: repulsive and wrong. Why put a child at increased risk of bullying or worse? To 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 that Ms. Armstrong owes her a public apology, and we want to say that we are sorry for the pain she has suffered as a result of our choice.”
Read the full statement below.
Sometimes you do things without thinking and then you get called out for it. Then you get it. That’s why the Razzies were created in the first place.
The recent well-founded criticism of 11-year-old Armstrong as a nominee for one of our awards has brought to our attention just how insensitive we’ve been in this case. As a result, we have removed Armstrong’s name from the Final Ballot, which our members will vote on next month. We also believe that we owe Ms. Armstrong a public apology and want to say that we are sorry for the pain she has suffered as a result of our selection.
Learning from this lesson, we’d also like to announce that from now on we’re adopting a Voting Guide that prevents any performer or filmmaker under the age of 18 from being considered for our awards.
We never intended to bury anyone’s career. That’s why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, including ourselves.
Since our motto is “Own Your Bad”, we realize that we have to live up to it ourselves.
John Wilson, The Razzie Awards