Razzies co-founder says anger over Firestarter’s nomination of Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 12, is ‘overblown’ amid social media uproar over toxic nature of tongue-in-cheek awards show

    The Golden Raspberry Awards co-founder, known as the Razzies, has responded to an angry reaction on social media over the recently announced nomination of 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, saying he thinks the reaction was “exaggerated”.

    Controversy ensued when Armstrong was nominated for Worst Actress for her performance in the movie Firestarter, with many taking to social media calling the awards show for bullying and a toxic message in the nomination of a preteen artist.

    Co-founder John Wilson chats with Buzzfeed about the row, which comes less than a year after last year’s show had to cancel a category mocking actor Bruce Willis after his aphasia diagnosis was publicly revealed.

    Latest: The Golden Raspberry Awards co-founder, known as the Razzies, has responded to an angry reaction to the recently announced nomination of 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, saying he thinks the reaction was “exaggerated”. She was photographed in LA last fall

    Wilson said he “can see how it could be taken” as mean, but doesn’t “think that was how it was meant”.

    He added: “I think people who get upset about it – I don’t even know how to say this. The rage is interesting – maybe somewhat justified, but I think overdone. There’s a righteousness there -in. It’s the Razzie Awards, for God’s sake!’

    Wilson said the “intent” of the nomination “was to be funny” and that “in this particular case, we seem to have taken a very bad misstep.”

    According to Wilson, the pre-teen actress is considered an “experienced actress, even though she’s only 12,” and came fifth in votes from approximately 1,100 voting members in the category, which also includes Bryce Dallas Howard. (Jurassic Park: Dominion), Diane Keaton (Mack & Rita), Kaya Scodelario (The King’s Daughter) and Alicia Silverstone (The Shark).

    The annual awards ceremony is meant to highlight the worst of Hollywood production from the previous year

    The annual awards ceremony is meant to highlight the worst of Hollywood production from the previous year

    Armstrong appeared alongside Zac Efron in the 2022 adaptation of Stephen King's novel

    Armstrong appeared alongside Zac Efron in the 2022 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel

    Among those who expressed their displeasure on social media was child actor Julian Hilliard, 11, who tweeted: ‘Razis are already petty and classless, but naming a child is simply disgusting and wrong’ . Why put a child at increased risk of bullying or worse? Be better.’

    In response to a user who called the show a joke, Hilliard replied, “No, not when it comes to a child.” This “joke” can have a very negative impact. They crossed a line.

    Another user said of the nomination, “It’s beyond pale. As a critic, I believe in being honest about movies, but there’s no reason to be cruel. To treat a child this way is monstrous.

    Among those who expressed their displeasure on social media was child actor Julian Hilliard

    Among those who expressed their displeasure on social media was child actor Julian Hilliard

    A user suggested the show rescind Armstrong’s nomination after the decision involving Willis last year.

    “Just like when they canceled Bruce Willis’ Razzie category names last year, I’m calling on #Razzies to cancel Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s Worst Actress name,” the user wrote. ‘They crossed the line. She’s a kid. Kids should be OFF LIMITS when it comes to Razzie. It’s time to cancel it and end it!”

    Another user suggested that “nominating a young talent isn’t fair” because they are still learning, and “it’s the equivalent of bashing someone’s first time cooking a complex recipe.

    Another user said naming a young and learning artist wasn't fair, while another said it was

    Another user said naming a young and learning artist wasn’t fair, while another said it was “monstrous”.

    Last year's show had to cancel a category poking fun at actor Bruce Willis after his aphasia diagnosis was publicly revealed

    Last year’s show had to cancel a category poking fun at actor Bruce Willis after his aphasia diagnosis was publicly revealed

    A user suggested the show rescind Armstrong's nomination after the decision involving Willis last year

    A user suggested the show rescind Armstrong’s nomination after the decision involving Willis last year

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