The Razzies have responded to criticism about nominating 12-year-old actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the “worst actor” category.
On Monday (23 January), the Razzies – formally known as the Golden Raspberry Awards – announced their nominations for 2023 ahead of the Oscars.
In the worst actor category, the award’s organisers nominated Armstrong for her performance as a pyrokinetic child in Stephen King adaptation Firestarter.
She was nominated in the category alongside actors like Tom Hanks (Pinocchio) and Jared Leto (Morbius).
Soon after hearing the news, many fans attacked the Razzies for being “mean-spirited and classless”.
“The Razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive and wrong,” tweeted actor Julian Hilliard. “Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better.”
Another person added: “The Razzies are extra despicable for nominating a child actor.”
Responding to the criticism, Razzies co-founder John Wilson told Buzzfeed that roughly 1,100 voting members put Armstrong in fifth place, but organisers had still debated whether to include her because of her age.
They ultimately decided to respect the votes and include Armstrong.
“I can see how it could be taken that way [as mean]. I don’t think that was how it was meant,” Wilson said. “I think people who get upset about it – I don’t even know how to say this. The rage is interesting perhaps somewhat justified, but I think overblown.
“There’s a righteousness about it. It’s the Razzie Awards, for goodness’ sake!”
Wilson admitted that the Razzies had probably “misstepped very badly”.
“The intent was to be funny,” he said. “In this particular instance, we seem to have misstepped very badly. I would admit that.”
The Independent’s Jacob Stolworthy has argued that the Razzies found “a tacky new low with their 2023 nominations” and that “it’s time to end them once and for all”.