PHOENIX - Like it or not, many Americans know of the Academy Awards, which, according to its website, "recognized excellence in cinematic achievements" since 1929.
Alongside the Oscars, however, is a separate parody award that honors works they believe to be the worst.
Here's what to know about the Golden Raspberry Awards, as well as the controversies that come along with it.
Golden Raspberry Awards? What is it?
(Photo by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzies, has a history that goes back decades, according to an article published by the United Kingdom newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
According to the article, the award was started by a publicist named John J.B. Wilson in 1981 as a joke on the night of the Academy Awards. For that year, Wilson's friends were invited to give out random film awards, and a newspaper in the Los Angeles area later picked up on the event and published an article about it.
Eventually, a more formalized structure was set up for the event, The Daily Telegraph said.
"It's all about taking Hollywood's favorite pastime — congratulating itself — and turning it on its head," Wilson said in the article.
What are the categories?
According to the Razzies' website, 2024's edition of the award includes the following categories:
- Worst Picture
- Worst Actor
- Worst Actress
- Worst Supporting Actor
- Worst Supporting Actress
- Worst Screen Couple
- Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel
- Worst Director
- Worst Screenplay
A number of the categories mimic their "best" counterparts at the Oscars.
Who determines the Razzies winners?
On their website, Razzies offers a chance for anyone to get voting rights by purchasing a membership. Membership starts at $40 for new members.
This arrangement has some similarities (as well as major differences) with the Oscars, where the winners are decided, via vote, by members of an institution called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, AMPAS has a thorough rule book on membership eligibility that includes a requirement that a voting member must work in the film industry. There are also rules on voting for nominees and winners.
There are about 8,000 AMPAS members, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, but the group does not publicize the names of all members.
Is it possible to be nominated for an Oscar AND a Razzie?
It is entirely possible for movies and actors to get an Oscar and a Razzie nomination simultaneously, and it's happened in the past.
For the Razzies that were given out in 2023, the movie Blonde was nominated for the Worst Picture Razzie, while the lead actress in the film, Ana de Armas, was nominated for the Best Actress Oscars. The film went on to win the Worst Picture Razzie that year, while de Armas did not get the Best Actress Oscars.
For 2021's edition of the Razzies, Glenn Close was a Razzies Worst Supporting Actress nominee for her role in Hillbilly Elegy. At the same time, she was an Oscars Best Supporting Actress nominee for the same role. She didn't win in either category, however.
It is also possible for an actor to, over the course of their careers, get nominated for Razzies and Oscars at different times. An example is Jared Leto, who won an Oscars in 2014 for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, and was subsequently nominated in the Razzies for 2017, 2022, and 2023. He won the Razzies for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in House of Gucci in 2022.
Another example is Mark Wahlberg, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2007 for his role in The Departed. He was also nominated in 2009, 2018, and 2022 for the Worst Actor Razzies. Wahlberg remains a Razzies and Oscars nominee, having won none of the categories he was nominated for in both awards.
Are there Razzies that honor comebacks?
Colin Farrell attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards in 2023. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images )
According to the Razzies website, there exists a category called "Razzie Redeemer Award" that honors former Razzies contenders who have made a comeback.
In 2023, the Razzies website states the Redeemer Award for that year was given to Colin Farrell. Farrell was nominated for the Worst Actor Razzie in 2004 for his role in Alexander, and was nominated in the 2022 Oscars Best Actor category for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin.
Do actors accept their Razzies?
There have been documented instances where actors have accepted their Razzies. An example from recent years includes Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who accepted his Razzies via a post made on X (then called Twitter) in 2018.
On at least two occasions, an actor even appeared in person to accept the award.
For the 2010 edition of the Razzies, it was reported by Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald that actress Sandra Bullock appeared to collect her award for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple. During her "acceptance" speech, however, Bullock gave out copies of the movie she won the Razzies for to members of the audience, challenging them to watch it and determine if it was really the worst performance of the year.
Another instance happened in 2005. According to a report published by the BBC, actress Halle Berry appeared in person to accept her Razzies for her role as Catwoman in the similarly-titled movie. During her appearance, Berry reportedly thanked the film's maker for "putting me in a God-awful movie".
"It was just what my career needed - I was at the top and now I'm at the bottom," Berry was quoted as saying.
Are there any criticisms of the Razzies?
Ryan Kiera Armstrong, in a photo taken in 2022. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
The award has been at the center of controversies in recent years.
In 2023, an article published by the United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian reported on the backlash award organizers received after child actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for the Worst Actress Razzies.
For that year's Razzies, Armstrong was nominated for her role in a movie called Firestarter. Armstrong was 11 at the time she appeared in the film. News website Euronews reported that while this was not the first time a child actor was nominated for a Razzie, the nomination became the target of criticism, with one nominee – Jack Lloyd – stating that he left acting for good after his Razzies nomination in 1999 resulted in him being the target of bullying from classmates and members of media.
Armstrong, according to The Guardian, was later removed from Razzies consideration that year, and a rule was later implemented to prevent the nomination of those under the age of 18. That same year, the award gave the Worst Actress Razzie for itself as a result of the Armstrong controversy.
Bruce Willis, in a photo taken in 2019. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
The article published by The Guardian also states that in 2022, the Razzies garnered criticism for a special category it created for actor Bruce Willis. Criticisms of the category came after it was revealed that the actor suffered from what was described at the time as ‘aphasia.’ It was subsequently revealed in 2023 that the actor's condition progressed to a form of dementia called FTD.
Awards organizers rescinded the special category it created for Willis amid criticism of their decision.