‘It is bullying’: Drew Barrymore reacts to 12-year-old actor’s Razzie nomination after organisation apologises

‘Well, this makes my blood boil,’ actor said

Tom Murray
Friday 27 January 2023 09:27 GMT
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Firestarter trailer

Drew Barrymore criticised the Razzies for nominating 12-year-old Firestarter actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the Worst Actress category.

The parody awards group, which famously recognises films and performances they feel are the worst of the year, issued a public apology to Armstrong and confirmed her removal from the “final ballot” after her nomination drew intense backlash.

Barrymore was a child actor herself and even starred in the 1984 iteration of Firestarter when she was nine years old.

“I don’t like it,” Barrymore said of the nomination on CBS’s Talk of the Table on Thursday (26 January).

“Because she is younger and it is bullying,” she told host Gayle King. “I’m glad to see people didn’t jump on the ‘let’s make fun of her’ wave and instead said, ‘This isn’t right.’”

Barrymore spoke further about the controversy on her eponymous talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show.

“Well, this makes my blood boil,” she said.

“Listen, I get poking fun at ourselves, I mean come on fair game bring it on, but Ryan is 12 years old and Razzie co-founder John Wilson has since apologized and removed her from the category and said they’re implementing a new rule precluding anyone eighteen years or younger.”

“... I would just say to them, ‘Please don’t do this to people who are younger. That’s not nice.’ And I really like Ryan... don’t do this again.”

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in ‘Firestarter’

In a statement, Razzies founder John Wilson said: “We have never intended to bury anyone’s career. It is why our Redeemer Award was created. We all make mistakes, very much us included.”

In an op-ed for The Independent, Jacob Stolworthy wrote that the awards had hit a “tacky new low” with its 2023 nominations list.

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“With Armstrong’s nomination for Firestarter, organisers need to be told that punching down is not the way to go. Or, failing that, perhaps it’s time to burn the whole idea to the ground,” he wrote.

Established in 1980 by film graduates and industry veterans John JB Wilson and Mo Murphy as a “counterbalance to the Oscars”, the 2022 Razzies previously honoured Worst Actor LeBron James for his lead role in Space Jam: A New Legacy and Diana: The Musical’s Jeanna de Waal for Worst Actress.

With the removal of Armstrong, this year’s Worst Actress nominees includes Alicia Silverstone (The Requin), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World Dominion), Diane Keaton (Mack & Rita) and Kaya Scodelario (The King’s Daughter).

As per usual, the Razzies are scheduled to be held on 11 March, the night before the 2023 Oscars, which will broadcast live on 12 March on ABC, beginning at 8pm EST.

Find the full list of Oscar nominations here.

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