Razzies co-founder says anger over the nomination of Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 12, from Firestarter is ‘overblown’ amid social media outcry over the toxic nature of the tongue-in-cheek awards show
The co-founder of the Golden Raspberry Awards, known as the Razzies, responded to an angry reaction on social media over the newly announced nomination of 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, saying he felt the reaction was “over the top.”
Controversy erupted when Armstrong was nominated for Worst Actress for her performance in the movie Firestarter, with many people on social media calling out the awards for bullying and a toxic message when nominating a preteen performer.
Co-founder John Wilson spoke to Buzzfeed about the feud, which comes less than a year after the show had to withdraw mocking actor Bruce Willis last year after his aphasia diagnosis was publicly revealed.
The latest: The co-founder of the Golden Raspberry Awards, known as the Razzies, responded to an angry backlash to 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s newly announced nomination, saying he felt the backlash was “over the top.” She was photographed in LA last fall
Wilson said he “sees how it could be taken” as mean-spirited, but “don’t think it was meant to be.”
He added, “I think people who get upset about it — I don’t even know how to say this. The anger is interesting – perhaps somewhat justified, but I think exaggerated. There is a justice in it. It’s the Razzie Awards, for God’s sake!’
Wilson said that “the intent” of the nomination was “funny” and that “we seem to have made a big mistake in this particular case.”
According to Wilson, the preteen actress is considered an “experienced actress, even though she’s only 12,” placing fifth in votes from about 1,100 eligible voters in the category, which also included Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic Park: Dominion), Diane Keaton (Mack & Rita), Kaya Scodelario (The King’s Daughter) and Alicia Silverstone (The Requin).
The annual awards show aims to highlight the worst Hollywood output from the previous year
Armstrong appeared alongside Zac Efron in the 2022 adaptation of the Stephen King novel
Among those expressing their displeasure on social media was child actor Julian Hilliard, 11, who tweeted: ‘The roundups are vicious and classless already, but to nominate a child is just abhorrent and wrong. Why would a child be at risk of more bullying or worse? To be better.’
In response to a user calling the show a joke, Hilliard replied, “No, not when it comes to a kid. That “joke” can have a very negative impact. They’ve crossed a line.’
Another user commented on the nomination, “This is off the beaten path. As a critic, I believe in being honest about movies, but there’s no need to be cruel. Treating a child like that is monstrous.’
Among those who took to social media to express their displeasure was child actor Julian Hilliard
A user suggested that the show withdraw Armstrong’s nomination after the decision involving Willis last year.
“Just like when they revoked Bruce Willis’ Razzie Noms last year, I’m calling on #Razzies to revoke Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s nom in Worst Actress,” the user wrote. ‘They have crossed the line. She’s a child. Kids should be EXCLUDED when it comes to Razzie. It’s time to withdraw and end it!’
Another user suggested that ‘nominating a young talent isn’t fair’ as they are still learning, and ‘is the equivalent of bashing someone who is cooking a complicated recipe for the first time’.
Another user said it’s not fair to nominate an artist who is young and still learning, while another person said it’s “monstrous”
The show had to withdraw a category mocking actor Bruce Willis last year after his aphasia diagnosis was publicly revealed
A user suggested that the show withdraw Armstrong’s nomination after the decision involving Willis last year