The Razzie Awards Blasted for Nominating a Child as Worst Actor

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in Firestarter movie
By Richard Nebens Posted:

Fans, actors, and critics have unanimously turned on the Razzie Awards after the show included a child actor as a nominee.

While the Academy Awards remain wildly popular, celebrating the best of the best in movies, the Razzies hold a place at the opposite end of that spectrum. With each new year in film, the worst cinematic releases are picked apart and oftentimes humiliated with awards ranging from "Worst Picture" to "Worst Actor" and much more.

Recently, the nominees for the 2023 Razzie Awards were made official ahead of the March 11 ceremony, highlighted by Sony Pictures' Morbius coming in with 5 nominations.

But now, the Razzies' mean-spirited nature has been put on the hot seat after the public saw a young actor put in an incredibly uncomfortable position with this show.

Razzies Ragged for Child Actor Nomination

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in Firestarter
Firestarter

The 43rd Razzie Awards nominated 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the "Worst Actress" category for her role in 2022's Firestarter.

Armstrong played the leading role of Charlie in this reboot of Drew Barrymore's 1984 Stephen King horror classic alongside star Zac Efron. 

The full list of nominees in this year's "Worst Actress" category can be seen below, along with the movies for which they were nominated

  • Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Firestarter
  • Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic Park: Dominion
  • Diane Keaton, Mack & Rita
  • Kaya Scodelario, The King’s Daughter
  • Alicia Silverstone, The Requin

This nomination became a major point of contention amongst fans and actors, who lamented the classless move on social media.

WandaVision actor Julian Hilliard called the move "repulsive & wrong," expressing worry that Armstrong will face "bullying or worse" after being included in the Razzies:

"The razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive & wrong. Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better."

Critic Reece Beaumont saw this as an indication of exactly "how scummy the Razzie awards are" for putting a 12-year-old actor through the humiliation:

"If you want to know how scummy the Razzie awards are, look no further than them nominating a 12-year-old for worst actress."

YouTuber/film critic Dave Lee also called the Razzies "the scum of the film world," reminiscing about an interview he had with Armstrong where she was immensely excited to hear how much Lee loved her performance:

"Razzies are the scum of the film world. I spoke with Ryan Keira Armstrong on the Firestarter junket — she was exstatic to hear me say how wonderful her performance was (and it genuinely is). This must be gutting for any upcoming performer."

@ColtWriter12 praised Armstrong for the work he's seen of hers, asking what kind of talent is actually seen from the Razzies in comparison:

"I’ve seen 12-year old girl they nominated, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, in two things, and not only was she the best actress in both, she’s incredibly talented. What talent do the razzies bring?"

@RobbieJJones called this nomination "damaging for [Armstrong]" as she was put up against four established stars who are much more mature

"Ryan Kiera Armstrong for Firestarter. She's nominated against 4 established actresses who can brush this off but imagine hearing this as a kid. It's not like the Razzies have the same impact as the Oscars but it's damaging for her nonetheless."

This also isn't the first time the Razzies have come under fire from fans over nominations.

The show named an entire category after action legend Bruce Willis two years ago, calling it the "Worst Bruce Willis Performance in a 2021 movie," which came only weeks before Willis' family announced that he had been diagnosed with aphasia. This disorder damages the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension, and after that announcement came, the Golden Raspberry Awards retracted that category and noted how inappropriate it was.

Additionally, way back in 1980, Shelley Duvall's performance in The Shining, unfortunately, was nominated for "Worst Actress." The Razzies then retroactively retracted the nomination after discovering that Duvall's performance was impacted by director Stanley Kubrick's treatment of her during production.

No Love Lost for Razzies' Methods

Even though the Razzies are largely used for purely entertainment purposes, it's become clear that the show has used some questionable practices over the last four decades. On top of being insensitive to established stars like Bruce Willis and Shelley Duvall, this year saw a new low for the group by putting 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong through the kind of embarrassment that no pre-teen should have to go through, especially from adults.

While Firestarter was critically panned by viewers, it was quite unfair to put Armstrong in this kind of spotlight amongst actresses nearly two to six decades her senior. And considering this is far from the first occasion where the Razzies has put this kind of spotlight on actors who were in no control of their situation, fans have made it clear that it's time for something to change.

Whether Armstrong's nomination is retracted is unknown, but if fan cries like these are any indication the Razzies will want to heavily consider pulling her name and trying to undo some of the damage that may have been done to this young star.