Organizers of the Razzie Awards have removed 12-year-old actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong from the worst actress category after a backlash.

    The young actor, also known from Black Widow and The Tomorrow War, was included in the annual list of worst nominees of the year for his performance in the thriller Firestarter, a remake of Stephen King’s adaptation starring Drew Barrymore. Armstrong was 11 at the time of filming.

    “Sometimes you do things without thinking,” John Wilson, head of the awards group, said in a statement. “So you are called for this. So you get it. This is why the Razzies were created in the first place.

    The announcement drew widespread criticism earlier this week, which Wilson called “valid” and the initial decision “insensitive.” He said that in future a new rule will mean that no one under the age of 18 can be named.

    “We also believe that a public apology is due to Ms. Armstrong, and wish to say that we regret any injury she has suffered as a result of our choices,” he said. He also added that the band “never intended to bury anyone’s career”.

    Earlier this week, Wilson defended the decision to BuzzFeed, saying Armstrong was “an experienced actress, even though she’s only 12” and the reaction was “interesting” but “over the top.”

    Armstrong was nominated alongside Bryce Dallas Howard, Diane Keaton, Kaya Scodelario and Alicia Silverstone. The Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde led the way with eight nominations.

    Organizers have already named child actors, including Jake Lloyd for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Macaulay Culkin for three performances in 1995.

    Last year, Bruce Willis’ worst performance category was dropped after the actor was revealed to be aphasic.

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