The Razzie Awards seem to have changed their mind, and if they did, It’s maybe because this situation was a danger for the ceremony’s holding. As you maybe already know, the Razzies decided two days ago to nominate a 12-year-old child, Ryan Kiera Armstrong for her role in ‘Firestarter’, a film that didn’t do well in 2022.
Even though everyone agrees that the movie was not a really good one, making fun of the youngest actor on the set is probably the worst idea the Razzie Awards ever had since the nomination of ‘Shining’ or ‘Scarface’. And of course, the backlash after announcing it was hard for them, and some people might have felt it was too occasion to permanently end this ceremony that takes place every year.
What Are The Apologies?
John Wilson, who is the head of the Razzie Awards, issued a statement on Wednesday morning to apologize, and he didn’t seem to dispute what he was accused of: “Sometimes, you do things without thinking,” Wilson said. “Then you are called out for it. Then you get it. It’s why the Razzies were created in the first place.”
For him, what was said about the Razzies was “valid”, and he added: “It brought our attention to how insensitive we’ve been in this instance. As a result, we have removed Armstrong’s name from the final ballot that our members will cast next month. We also believe a public apology is owed Ms. Armstrong, and wish to say we regret any hurt she experienced as a result of our choices.”
Adding to that, he declared that the new voting guidelines will exclude any actor or filmmaker who is a minor to be a Razzie Awards nominee. So the case of Ryan Kiera Armstrong who was nominated for Worst Actress was the last one we will ever see at the Razzies, which is good news because from now on, they will never destroy anyone’s career again. If we mention that, It’s because it happened already a few times, and because of these bad choices, it didn’t end well, particularly for one famous actor.
In light of feedback (which we’ve come to agree with) the @RazzieAwards will not be including Ryan Kiera Armstrong on the final voting ballot. @DevonESawa
— The Razzie® Awards (@RazzieAwards) January 25, 2023
The Jake Lloyd Case
Wilson said that: “We have never intended to bury anyone’s career. It is why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, and very much is included. Since our motto is ‘Own Your Bad,’ we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it.” And this response was not a simple apology for Ryan Kiera Armstrong, it was a hidden apology for all the children that have been bullied in the past because of their Awards. The Razzies were still living in ancient times in their minds, and today, bullying a child through that kind of ceremony is not very well seen.
But this comes back to the particular case of Jake Lloyd which has shocked Hollywood forever. People never thought this kind of accident from the Razzie Awards would happen again. And when Wilson says: “rage is interesting – perhaps somewhat justified, but I think overblown”, he feels how angry people were when they saw the news. To give more context to this story, Jake Lloyd was a child actor in Star wars I: The Phantom Menace. He was playing the role of a young Anakin Skywalker and like every child actor, his acting was not perfect, but really not bad at all for a child.
Even though they knew it, the Razzies decided to nominate him for ‘Worst Actor’, and unfortunately he won. What happened after is terrifying. Because of that and many other factors, he was bullied at school and is now traumatized by cameras. When he sees one, he is scared and cannot express himself anymore in front of one of them.
In 2015, he was arrested after trying to escape the police and was placed in prison for 10 months. After that, he has been transferred to a psychiatric hospital because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He finally left the hospital in 2020 but had to start treatment because of his disease. And that’s the last official news we got from him. And that’s why the Razzie Awards have been criticized and that’s why people were so angry. Not only Jake Lloyd was traumatized by the Razzies, the whole world was, and wishes to never see that happen again to another young actor.