Razzie Awards organizers have removed Ryan Kiera Armstrong from their ballot following backlash from including the actress, who is 12, in its annual picks for the worst films and performances of the year.
John Wilson, head 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. “Then you are called out for it. Then you get it. It’s why the Razzies were created in the first place.”
Wilson called the criticism “valid,” noting that it “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.”
Armstrong, who was 11 when Firestarter was filmed, was up for worst actress along with Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic Park: Dominion), Diane Keaton (Mack & Rita), Kaya Scodelario (The King’s Daughter) and Alicia Silverstone (The Requin).
Wilson also said that new voting guidelines are being adopted that will preclude any performer or filmmaker who is a minor from being considered for a Razzie Award.
“We have never intended to bury anyone’s career,” Wilson said. “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.”
The response comes after many people criticized the organization for her inclusion, including several current and former child actors. “The razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive & wrong,” tweeted Julian Hilliard, a child actor who has appeared in WandaVision and The Haunting of Hill House. “Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better.”
Wilson earlier this week told Buzzfeed he felt the “rage is interesting — perhaps somewhat justified, but I think overblown.” He added: “The intent was to be funny. In this particular instance, we seem to have misstepped very badly. I would admit that.”
The Razzies have nominated children previously, including Jake Lloyd for 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace and Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated in 1995 for three films — Getting Even With Dad, The Pagemaster and Richie Rich.
It’s also not the first time that the Razzies have pulled back on an “honor.” Last year, organizers decided to rescind the special category of Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie after news broke that the actor was suffering from aphasia.
The “winners” of the 43rd Razzie Awards will be announced March 11, the day before the Oscars. There are about 1,100 voting members.