Razzie Awards apologize for nominating 12-year-old ‘Firestarter’ star for Worst Actress award

In recent years, the Razzie Awards have begun to lose their luster. Rather than being an antidote to awards season’s smug tone, they are increasingly viewed as cruel or offensive. One of the 2023 nominees drew particular criticism this week, prompting the Razzies to publicly withdraw the nomination.

Apparently there wasn’t much support for publicly mocking a 12-year-old as one of the worst actresses of the year.

Alongside predictable nominees like Tom Hanks elvis and, well, all about diseaseChild actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong has been nominated for her role in the Stephen King film fire starter. This was soon criticized online, with critics saying it was an unnecessarily mean way of treating a child in public.

In theory, an awards show like the Razzies could be used to satirize real problems in Hollywood. However, the Razzies tend to go after low-hanging fruit. They have faced constant criticism for both the logistics of their selection process (because nominees are not required to see the films) and their choice of nominees, with critics emphasizing an apparent bias towards films starring Black actors.

Last year, the Razzies also had to withdraw a category dedicated to Bruce Willis’ performances after the actor’s family announced his retirement after being diagnosed with aphasia.

Several children have won or been nominated for Razzies in the past, including Macaulay Culkin and war of stars actor Jake Lloyd, but these days the public is more sensitive to the pressures child stars face. It’s easy to see how taunting a Razzie can damage a child’s self-esteem.

In response to the backlash, the Razzies withdrew Armstrong’s nomination and announced a new rule blocking nominations from under-18s. The Razzies apologized to Armstrong, adding in their statement: “Recent valid criticism of the choice of 11-year-old Armstrong as a nominee for one of our awards has made us aware of how insensitive we were in this case.”

While this update will protect other child stars from similar embarrassment, the Razzies themselves are struggling with public opinion. These awards seem to be drawing more criticism and shouts on social media every year. Movie buffs still enjoy making fun of bad movies in their free time (eg. disease), but there’s a growing sense that the raids are just mean for the sake of being mean.


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*Initial publication: January 26, 2023 8:13 am CST

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction films and superheroes, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she is the co-host of the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/razzies-2023-backlash-child-actor/ Razzie Awards apologize for nominating 12-year-old ‘Firestarter’ star for Worst Actress award

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