Drew Barrymore Reacts to Razzies 'Bullying' 'Firestarter' Child Actress with 'Worst' Nomination

"When you're talking about children, all bets are off. I don't like it," said Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore Reacts to Razzies 'Bullying' New Firestarter Child Actress with 'Worst' Nomination Ryan Kiera Armstrong
Drew Barrymore; Ryan Kiera Armstrong. Photo: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images, Paul Archuleta/Getty

Drew Barrymore isn't standing for the Razzie Awards picking on a child actor.

While on CBS Mornings, the former child star (who was also the lead in the 1984 Firestarter movie) said she did not approve of the Razzies nominating a child among the "worst" performances of the year. The spoof awards show apologized for putting 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong on its list for her work in last year's Firestarter remake and changed its guidelines to no longer nominate anyone under 18.

Last year, Barrymore, 47, had Armstrong on her daytime talk show, and when they hugged each other onstage, both got emotional as Barrymore told the young actress, "I watched the film and it's so good. You're so good in it. ... You're so amazing in it."

Barrymore said this week, "I don't like it. Because 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 on that bandwagon. And I'm glad to see people didn't jump on the 'let's make fun of her' wave, instead said, 'This isn't right.' "

Co-host Gayle King then asked Barrymore if she's ever had a Razzie. Barrymore joked, "I must've! I should've. Has anyone seen Doppelganger? Oh, my God! My cameo in Waxwork 2 should've warranted one. However, the Razzies, you gotta have a sense of humor about yourself, but when you're talking about children, all bets are off. I don't like it."

According to The Independent, Barrymore also addressed the situation on her talk show, saying it "makes my blood boil." She added, "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."

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After the nominations were announced earlier this week, people on social media expressed outrage over the organizers naming a child actor on its list. The official Razzies Twitter account then posted on Tuesday, "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."

In an additional statement obtained by Variety, Razzies founder John Wilson apologized and said they will no longer nominate people under 18. He called the outrage "valid criticism" that "brought our attention to how insensitive we've been in this instance."

Drew Barrymore Reacts to Razzies 'Bullying' New Firestarter Child Actress with 'Worst' Nomination Ryan Kiera Armstrong
Drew Barrymore in Firestarter (1984); Ryan Kiera Armstrong in Firestarter (2022). Moviestore/Shutterstock, Universal Pictures/Moviestore/Shutterstock

"Sometimes, you do things without thinking, Then you are called out for it. Then you get it. It's why the Razzies were created in the first place," Wilson said. "... 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."

"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 filmmaker under 18 years of age from being considered for our awards," he continued. "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. Since our motto is 'Own Your Bad,' we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it."

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