Razzie Awards organizers have removed Ryan Kiera Armstrong from their ballot following backlash over including the 12-year-old actress in their annual selections for the year’s worst movies and performances.
John Wilson, leader of the group that organizes the Golden Raspberry Awards – aka the Razzies – also issued an apology in a statement released Wednesday morning.
“Sometimes you do things without thinking,” Wilson said. “So you are called for this. So you get it. This is why the Razzies were created in the first place.
Wilson called the criticism “valid,” noting that it “brought our attention to our insensitivity in this case. Accordingly, we have removed Armstrong’s name from the final ballot that our members will vote on next month. We also believe that a public apology is due to Ms. Armstrong, and would like to say that we regret any harm she has suffered as a result of our choices.
Armstrong, who was 11 when Fire starter was filmed, was in the running for Worst Actress with Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic Park: Dominion), Diane Keaton (Mack and Rita), Kaya Scodelario (The King’s Daughter) and Alicia Silverstone (The shark).
Wilson also said new voting guidelines are being passed that will prevent any underage artist or filmmaker from being considered for a Razzie award.
“We never intended to bury anyone’s career,” Wilson said. “This is why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, ourselves included. Since our motto is ‘Own Your Bad’, we realize that we too have to rise to the occasion.”
The response comes after many people criticized the organization for its inclusion, including several current and former child actors. “Razzies are already petty and classless, but naming a child is simply disgusting and wrong,” tweeted Julian Hilliard, a child actor who appeared in Wanda Vision and The Haunting of Hill House. “Why put a child at increased risk of bullying or worse? Be better.”
Earlier this week, Wilson told Buzzfeed that he felt “the rage is interesting — maybe somewhat justified, but I think overdone.” He added: “The intention was to be funny. In this particular case, we seem to have taken a very wrong step. I would admit it.
The Razzies have already named children, including Jake Lloyd for 1999 Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace and Macaulay Culkin, nominated in 1995 for three films — Get revenge on dad, the pagemaster and RichieRich.
This isn’t the first time the Razzies have pulled off an “honor” either. Last year, organizers decided to scrap the special category for Bruce Willis’ worst performance in a 2021 film after news broke that the actor suffered from aphasia.
The “winners” of the 43rd Razzie Awards will be announced March 11, the day before the Oscars. There are approximately 1,100 voting members.