Original “Firestarter” actor Drew Barrymore railed against the Razzie Awards after they nominated the 12-year-old star of last year’s “Firestarter” reboot. Child actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong was originally among the nominees for “worst actress,” a decision that led to blowback against the Razzies. The awards ceremony eventually retracted the nomination and issued an apology.
“I don’t like it,” Barrymore told “CBS Mornings” about the Razzie Awards controversy. “She is younger and it is bullying. We do want to be cautious about how we speak to or about people because it encourages other people to join in on that bandwagon. 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 added, “You got to have a sense of humor but when you’re talking about children all bets are off. I don’t like it.”
The original “Firestarter” movie, released in 1984 and based on Stephen King’s novel, starred Barrymore as Charlie McGee, a young girl who develops pyrokinesis. Ryan Kiera Armstrong played the role in the 2022 remake, which also starred Zac Efron. Barrymore continued to criticize the Razzie Awards on her eponymous talk show.
“Well, this makes my blood boil,” Barrymore said (via The Independent). “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 18 years or younger.”
“I would just say to them, ‘Please don’t do this to people who are younger. That’s not nice,’” Barrymore added. “And I really like Ryan… don’t do this again.”
John Wilson, founder of the Razzie Awards, eventually released a statement calling the criticism over nominating Armstrong “valid” and confirming her name had been removed from the ballot. He added: “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.”
“Having learned from this lesson, we would also like to announce that, from this point forward, we are adopting a Voting Guideline precluding any performer or film-maker under 18 years of age from being considered for our awards,” Wilson also announced.