Razzie Awards face heavy criticism for nominating ‘Firestarter’ child star: ‘Sickening and Evil’

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in Firestarter (Photo: Ken Wroner/Universal Pictures/Courtesy of Everett Collection)

Since their introduction in 1981, the Golden Raspberries have positioned themselves as anti-Oscar awards. By declaring themselves “Oscar’s ugly cousins,” the titillating rabble of Razzies have disgraced the worst movies and shows in an industry notorious for overdoing it with bizarre categories this time of year. For example, Jackass: the movie won the most bloated teen-targeted film of 2002, while the notorious turkey Cat in a hat was named The Worst Excuse for a Real Movie in 2003.

Good-natured celebrities like Tom Green (five-time winner in 2002 Freddy got his fingers), Halle Berry (Worst Actress of 2004 Catwoman) and Sandra Bullock (who won the Razzie for All about Steven the night before he won an Oscar for blind side in 2010) all showed up for a modest ceremony to collect their trophies.

In recent years, however, the Razzies have lost both their pop culture prestige and the goodwill of moviegoers. “Is it time to retire the Razzie rewards?” asked more than a few experts. Part of that hit can be attributed to fatigue – maybe we’ve evolved beyond the snark; maybe this four-decade-long gag just jumped the shark — but the nominating committee has also made some very public mistakes in recent years that have drawn increasing criticism.

The most recent controversy came on Monday when the Razzies chose a 12-year-old Incendiary actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was shortlisted for Worst Actress alongside Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Dominion), Diane Keaton (Maciek and Rita), Kaya Scodelario (King’s daughter) and Alicia Silverstone (Requin).

Never mind that Armstrong (It’s Chapter Two, Black Widow, Old Way) is one of the most talented and prolific child actors out there, nor that she wasn’t the worst part of the failed Stephen King remake. The problem, of course, is that he’s the kid the adults make fun of—even if the Razzies claim it’s just a joke.

Regardless, the organization faces a harsh reprimand for the nomination.

“If you thought the Razzies were going to be less mean this year, think again because this year’s nominees for Worst Actress include a 12-year-old girl,” he wrote. Diversityis Ethan Shanfeld.

“The Razzies reached a new level by nominating an 11-year-old – whose performance I really enjoyed” tweeted filmmaker Joe Russo (no thatJoe Russo). “If you’re going to continue to denigrate people’s hard work – which you shouldn’t – at least focus on adults.”

” [Razzies] they are already mean and classless but nominating a child is just disgusting and wrong” he wrote another child actor, Julian Hilliard. “Why expose a child to increased bullying or worse? Be better.”

There was no immediate comment from the Golden Raspberry Foundation, the group behind Razzies, about the latest reaction.

While Armstrong’s nomination appears to be a turning point, he is not the first child actor to be nominated by the organization. Previous nominations have included Diana Scarwid (who played Joan Crawford’s daughter in 1981. Dearest Mummy), Jake Lloyd (who played a very young Anakin Skywalker in 1999 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) and Macaulay Culkin (for three different appearances in 1995).

The controversy surrounding Armstrong’s nomination comes just a year after the Golden Raspberry Foundation embarrassed itself by creating a special category called Bruce Willis’ Worst Performance in a 2021 Movie, only to have the designation overturned when Willis’ family revealed that struggles with a neurological disorder, aphasia, and retires from acting. Willis appeared in 11 films in 2021, but multiple reports suggested that due to his declining health, he was being used by the industry to appear in money-raising films.

There are certainly factions in the movie fandom that never gave the Razzies much credence. In its inaugural year, the Razzies focused on another Stephen King adaptation, awarding Worst Director to Stanley Kubrick for the horror classic Shining. However The organization behind the awards announced last year announced it would “reclaim” the award for Worst Actress from Shelley Duvall due to the alleged abuse she suffered on set from Kubrick.

But as hostility towards the Razzies seems to have grown over the years, Hollywood seems to have an undisputed contender for the Worst Award Show.

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