The Golden Raspberry Awards (and by "raspberry" we mean the big, loud, wet one), often shortened to the "Razzies", is an award ceremony in recognition of the worst in film; when you've made a movie that is uniquely terrible, this is exactly the sort of "award" you may be in for.
Created by John J.B. Wilson (a film marketing professional who viewed hundreds of films a year as part of his job), whom staff of the Razzies refer to as "Ye Olde Head Razzberry", and Maureen "Mo" Murphy, the Razzies have been handed out since 1981, traditionally on the evening before the Academy Awards are handed out. The voters are average filmgoers who pay an annual membership fee to be part of the Golden Raspberry organization.
Understandably, very few people ever show up in person to accept their Razzie, a gold-painted plastic statue costing "about $4.97". A few have, though, taking the suckitude of their movie in stride (which makes you wonder). A larger number of "winners", while not attending the ceremony itself (traditionally held the day before the Oscars, which is understandably a pretty busy weekend in Hollywood) have accepted their awards at other venues, including a number of late-night talk shows. In more recent years, several "winners" have arranged to receive the awards by special delivery and have delivered belated "acceptance speeches" upon their receipt. A few actors and films have won both Oscars and Razzies, while a select few have been nominated for both awards for the same work.
There have, however, been criticisms of the Razzies' process. As Sandra Bullock pointed out when accepting her award for All About Steve, many Razzie voters don't even see the films they're nominating, instead choosing to hate on films just because they're popular to hate on, or at least were (as seen as with films such as The Twilight Saga or the Star Wars prequel trilogynote ) or star somebody who has a rabid hatedom (as with Private Parts and Barney's Great Adventure). Along with some now-critically acclaimed films being nominated for Razzies such as The Shining in 1980, Heaven's Gate in 1981, The Thing in 1982, Scarface in 1983, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996, it's easy to see where some of the backlash lies. And even then some critically-acclaimed films did receive Razzies regardless of their reception, such as Wall Street in 1987. It's also quite clear that Wilson's own nitpicky tastes guide a lot of the selection process; Brian De Palma has gotten five Worst Director nominations for seemingly no reason other than Wilson not liking him. There is also criticism towards the "Worst Actor" categories, since an actor/actress usually gets nominated for being in a bad film in the first place, regardless of their actual acting skill in a film. The backlash is also probably why the Worst New Star, Worst Original Song and Worst Musical Score (those last two categories tended to have nominees and "winners" that were rap songs or scores performed with synths or guitars instead of an orchestra, giving them a heavy New Media Are Evil vibe) awards were discontinued.
Entering their fourth decade, the Awards hold an odd position in the movie world. The annual nominations will usually include choices that infuriate both serious cinephiles and more casual movie fans, and the irreverent tone of the Awards clashes with modern American cultural sensibilities that value respect, dignity and sensitivity. Nevertheless, the Awards still go on, getting a surprising amount of media coverage tied to the Oscars, even if many people feel like it's become the epitome of an Overly-Long Gag. The Golden Raspberry organization has tried to respond to accusations of bullying and mean-spiritedness by claiming that that the whole ceremony "encourages filmmakers to own their bad", asking winners to "embrace" their awards. This is to the point where a user named Mjanm1 (who was probably a Golden Raspberry Award Foundation staffer) edited the ceremony's page on The Other Wiki and changed several sections to make them appear far more positive, even going as far as to change the introduction to hide the actual motive of the Razzies - ridiculing movies based on other critics' or incredibly vocal hatedoms' opinions. There have also been accusations of racism and sexism when it comes to frequent targets of the Razzies. It doesn't help that John J.B. Wilson himself is somewhat of a recluse and doesn't discuss his own views on what exactly the purpose of the Razzies should be in today's world. Wilson and Murphy, despite selling memberships of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation to any interested parties, continue to exercise effectively dictatorial control over the organization, with a 2022 decision to rescind both an award handed out the previous week and a decades-old nomination in one fell swoop appearing to take place without any oversight by the membership.
In 2005, Wilson published The Official Razzie Movie Guide, which was not a simple book on the awards, but a compilation of So Bad, It's Good movies, usually high on the unintentional comedy scale, preferring to extensively cover films released in the decades before the awards began (less than half of the 100 movies were Razzie nominees).
Starting with the 2015 awards, a new category, the Razzie Redeemer Award, has been handed out to a past nominee or "winner" who has moved onto a more critically successful movie.
Remember, it's just a movie...
You can find a list of winners of the various Razzie categories here.
- To date, only one actor has ever won both a Razzie and an Oscar in equivalent categories in the same year (albeit for different films) — in 2010, Sandra Bullock won the Worst Actress Razzie for All About Steve, and the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side, and actually turned up to collect both; Bullock even "gifted" the Razzie audience with Blu-Rays of All About Steve.
- Composer Alan Menken won both the Oscar for Score and Song in Aladdin, and the Razzie for Worst Song in Newsies. Menken, who has spoken "proudly" of the achievement - "I won three Academy Awards within the course of three years and one Razzie" - finally received his Razzie in 2020, four years after the lyricist, who put it in in his house alongside the Tony◊ won by the Newsies adaptation.
- Screenwriter Brian Helgeland won an Oscar for the L.A. Confidential adaptation, and a Razzie for The Postman. Helgeland decided to accept the Razzie, and they delivered it to him in his office. His collaborator, Eric Roth — who had himself adapted Forrest Gump into the far better-known movie and won an Academy Award for that one — was not so gracious.
- Aside from the aforementioned Sandra Bullock, among the people who've showed up to collect awards are Halle Berry for Catwoman (bringing her Oscar from the previous year to the ceremony!), Tom Green for Freddy Got Fingered (accepting all four of the awards he personally won as well as the Worst Picture trophy... and showing a distinct lack of maturity by berating the crowd), J.D. Shapiro for Battlefield Earth, (the writer received Worst Screenplay in a radio program, and picked up Worst Movie of the 2000s in person) and Paul Verhoeven for Showgirls (the first to attend the ceremony). Tom Selleck received his for Christopher Columbus: The Discovery on a talk show, and on another show Bill Cosby received a literal Golden (and marble) Razzie for Leonard Part 6 instead of the cheap one. The star of The Wild Wild West TV series, Robert Conrad, picked up the awards for the ill-fated, In Name Only movie adaptation starring Will Smith as a protest.
- Three people have been nominated for both an Oscar and a Razzie for the same performance: James Coco, for Best and Worst Supporting Actor in Only When I Laugh, Amy Irving, for Best and Worst Supporting Actress in Yentl, and Glenn Close, for Best and Worst Supporting Actress in Hillbilly Elegy. (None of them won either award.)
- One film has won both an Oscar and a Razzie. Wall Street got an Oscar for star Michael Douglas, but Daryl Hannah won a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress.
- Three films have gotten both an Academy Award for Best Picture nomination and a Razzie nomination. The Godfather Part III got two nominations for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst New Star for Sofia Coppola, who won both awards, Joker got a nomination for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property, though it ended up losing to Rambo: Last Blood, and Elvis got two nominations for Worst Supporting Actor for Tom Hanks and Worst Screen Combo for both Hanks and "his latex-laden face (and ludicrous accent)", winning both awards.
- There have also been musical acts nominated for both an Oscar for Best Original Song and a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song: Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", as part of the original soundtrack to the film Armageddon, Trisha Yearwood's "How Do I Live" from the 1997 film Con Air and Tony Bennett's "Life in a Looking Glass" from the 1986 film That's Life!.
- In addition to the people listed above, there have also been individuals nominated for a Razzie and a prestigious non-Oscar award for the same movie. Neil Diamond, winner of the inaugural Worst Actor Razzie for 1980's The Jazz Singer, was nominated for the Golden Globe in the same role; Stanley Kubrick was nominated in 1981 both for a Razzie Award as Worst Director at the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards as well as for a Saturn Award for Best Director at the 8th Saturn Awards for the same film: The Shining; in 2017, Darren Aronofsky was nominated for both the Golden Lion and the Worst Director Razzie for Mother; and in 2021, Music was nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Actress for Kate Hudson and Best Comedy or Musical) and four Razzies (losing only Worst Picture, while taking in Worst Director for Sia, Worst Actress for Hudson, and Worst Supporting Actress for Maddie Ziegler). The same year, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which won two Golden Globes and got two Oscar nominations, also won Worst Supporting Actor for Rudy Giuliani and Worst Screen Combo for "Rudy Giuliani and his pants zipper".
- The biggest Razzie winner is Jack and Jill, which won all ten awards at the 2012 Razzies, sweeping every category. Other films that have received a high number of awards include Battlefield Earth (9 total; 7 awards upon release, Worst Drama of Our First 25 Years in 2005, and Worst Movie of the 2000s in 2010), Showgirls (8 total, 7 awards upon release and Worst Movie of the 90s in 2000), and I Know Who Killed Me (8 awards in 2008, though one is kind of a cheat as Lindsay Lohan tied with Lindsay Lohan for Worst Actress as she played two roles) for movies, Sylvester Stallone (10 awards, including Worst Actor of the '80s and Worst Actor of the Century, the latter being for "99.5% of everything he's EVER done"note ) and Madonna (8 awards, including Worst Actress of the Century) for actors.
- A few non-fiction movies have ran for Razzies, most notably two documentaries: Michael Moore's 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11 notoriously received nominations not because the movie itself was bad (it is the first Razzie winner that didn't bomb neither critically nor financially) but because the film depicted high-ranking American Iraq hawks who "starred" as themselves;note and Dinesh D'Souza's Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party won Worst Picture in 2017 for being as fake as a documentary can be while also showcasing inept filmmaking at its finest (D'Souza went on to appear in the video announcing the 2017 winners, claiming the Razzie voters picked on his movie because Hillary lost the presidential election, while also claiming getting such an award was fantastic - "my audience loves the fact that you hate me!"). In 2019, both D'Souza's following movie, Death of a Nation, and Moore's left-wing equivalent Fahrenheit 11/9 earned Worst Actor for Donald Trump (plus Worst Screen Combo for himself and his "self-perpetuating pettiness") and Worst Supporting Actress to his counselor Kellyanne Conway. Along with them, Andrew "Dice" Clay's stand-up film Dice Rules! won for Worst Picture in 1991, The Jonas Brothers won Worst Actor for their concert movie, and two documentaries led to Worst Actress nods, Madonna in Truth or Dare, and Sarah Palin in The Undefeated. In 2021, Worst Picture and Actor were won by Mike Lindell (also known as "The MyPillow Guy") and his documentary Absolute Proof, which supported false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
- Cross-dressing noms are a Running Gag.note Winners include Tyler Perry (A Madea Christmas and Boo! A Madea Halloween 2), Adam Sandler and David Spade (both for Jack and Jill), Dom De Luise (Haunted Honeymoon), Eddie Murphy (Norbit), and Brooke Shields◊ (Sahara). Nominees include Barbra Streisand (Yentl), Kurt Russell◊ (Tango and Cash), Kevin Kline◊ (Wild Wild West), "The Wayans Sisters" (White Chicks), Martin Lawrence and Brandon T. Jackson (both for Big Momma's House 3), and John Candy (Nothing but Trouble). Amusingly, famed Drag Queen Divine once ran for Worst Actor.
- Ensembles that won Worst Actor/Actress: The Jonas Brothers, The Spice Girls, the Wayans Brothers in Little Man, the gal pals from Sex and the City 2 and "The Actress Who Played Hillary Clinton" in Hillary's America, given there are two (younger Hillary and contemporary one). Worst Actress also had noms for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the stars of Bratz and The Women, and the Wayans in White Chicks.
- Worst Screen Couple/Combo is clearly the most comedic category. Boob based nominations ("Pamela Anderson's impressive enhancements", "Mariah Carey's cleavage", "Sharon Stone's lopsided breasts"), all-inclusive nominations of "any actors" that lead to three esoteric wins (Showgirls: "Any combination of two people or two body parts"; The Emoji Movie: "Any two obnoxious emojis", Cats: "Any two half-feline/half-human hairballs") and three a bit more specific (John Travolta and anyone sharing the screen with him in Battlefield Earth, Tom Green and any animal he abuses in Freddy Got Fingered, LeBron James and any cartoon in Space Jam: A New Legacy), actors Acting for Two (with wins for Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask and Lindsay Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me) and actor/object combinations (though the only ones which won were "Kirk Cameron and his ego" in Saving Christmas - this one came up after his attempt to tilt Rotten Tomatoes to up his panned movie's scores on the site prompted internet drama that sent it the other way - "Donald Trump and his Self-Perpetuating Pettiness" for two documentaries, and Rudy Giuliani and his zipper for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm).
- A close second for most comedic is the discontinued Worst New Star, which often included a fictional character in its nominees (one of whom, Ronald McDonald, won a Razzie for his role in Mac and Me in 1989.)
- The Razzies have irregularly given an award called "Worst Career Achievement". The "winners" so far have been:
- 1981: Ronald Reagan, who had been elected president of the United States the previous year.
- 1983: Linda Blair
- 1985: Irwin Allen
- 1987: Bruce the Rubber Shark from the Jaws franchise
- 2009: Uwe Boll
- Few animated films got the attention of the Razzies until the widely reviled The Emoji Movie swept its four nominations, including Worst Picture, in 2018. Prior to that, Thumbelina won Worst Original Song and one of Kelsey Grammer's roles that earned him Worst Supporting Actor in 2014 was Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the only film in the Disney Animated Canon to get nominated for a Razzie, for "Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million" (but lost to Twister).
- Three U.S. Presidents have won Razzies. Ronald Reagan received the special "Worst Career Achievement" award upon becoming President (as he had been an actor for quite some time before entering politics), Donald Trump won Worst Supporting Actor for 1990's Ghosts Can't Do It (As Himself, the only one to win before taking office since that film predated his entry into politics by 20+ years,) and then again while in office for his roles in Fahrenheit 11/9 and Death of a Nation also As Himself in 2018, where he won both Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo, and George W. Bush won Worst Actor for 2004's Fahrenheit 9/11 (again, As Himself).
- Only one person has managed to win a Worst Award and a Razzie Redeemer Award in the same night; Melissa McCarthy, who won Worst Actress for her roles in both The Happytime Murders and Life of the Party and the Redeemer Award for Can You Ever Forgive Me? (for which she was also nominated to an Oscar for Best Actress).
- Three people in history have won both Best Director and Worst Director, though none were from the same year: Michael Cimino (Best: The Deer Hunter in 1978; Worst: Heaven's Gate in 1981), Kevin Costner (Best: Dances with Wolves in 1990; Worst: The Postman in 1997), and Tom Hooper (Best: The King's Speech in 2010; Worst: Cats in 2019).
- A bigger ceremony than usual was planned for the 40th awards in 2020, with the intent to televise it. However, due to the COVID outbreak that same year, the ceremony was called off and the results were posted on the Razzies' YouTube page instead as they had been for previous years.
- In 2020, Alan Menken became the first "REGOT" winner.note Upon receiving a Daytime Emmy, Menken had received all four EGOTs competitively in addition to his one Razzie.
- Tom Cruise is the only actor to have ever starred in a Best Picture winner and a Worst Picture winner in the same year, having been in both Rain Man and Cocktail, both of which were released in 1988. However, it is widely speculated that Cocktail only won because Cruise starred in a film that was nominated for Best Picture that same year, since Cocktail is usually considered to be okay or average at best and enjoyably bad at worst.
- For the 42nd awards in 2022, Bruce Willis got a special one-off category titled "Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie" for starring in eight forgettable action and thriller films that year.The nominated films and the roles he played in them? However, after news broke out that Willis was retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia only a few days after the year's winners were announced, the Razzies swiftly rescinded the award out of respect.
- The Razzies regard nominating Shelley Duvall for Worst Actress for The Shining as an Old Shame, and have made it clear that they place all the blame for her performance on Stanley Kubrick for verbally abusing her on set rather than on her. They would eventually rescind the nomination in 2022.
- In 2023 they quickly rescinded the Worst Actress nomination that 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong got for Firestarter following online criticism that accused the organization of effectively bullying a young child.note Wilson released an apology statement and instituted a new rule that nominees have to be at least 18. They then awarded themselves Worst Actress instead over "Their 43rd Worst Actress Nominations Blunder".
- Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Brad Pitt have the dubious honor of winning both Best Picture and Worst Picture, winning for the former in 2014 for 12 Years a Slave and for the latter in 2023 for Blonde, having produced both films under their shared production company Plan B Entertainment.