Bruce Willis received the 2021 Golden Raspberry Award, better known as Razzie, the award for “worst performance.” The statuette the star received for his role as James Ford in the science fiction film Cosmic Sin, released in 2021 and directed by Edward Drake, it has been revoked.
The “worst performance” award was stripped from the actor due to his recently revealed diagnosis of aphasia.
Razzie awards co-founders John JB Wilson and Mo Murphy declare: “If someone’s medical condition is a factor in their decision making and / or performance, we recognize that it’s not appropriate to give them a Razzie,” they said. Thursday, March 31. Wilson and Murphy announced the revocation of the award to Willis (and also the withdrawal of the nomination for Shelley Duvall for her role as Wendy in Shiningas we will see in the next paragraphs) in a statement provided to the American magazine IndieWire.
As is customary, the Razzie Awards are presented the day before the Oscars ceremony. This year too it was like this but, after having awarded Willis for his role in the action-sci-fi movie Cosmic SinWillis’s family revealed four days later that he was diagnosed with aphasia.
It is a condition caused by damage in a specific part of the brain that controls the expression and understanding of language, for this reason the star would have moved away from acting.
Several directors who have worked with Bruce Willis in recent years have told Los Angeles Times to have noticed that the actor was struggling on set to act. Co-stars, collaborators, friends and fans have publicly expressed their support for Willis.
But the organization of the Razzie did not naturally and autonomously join the chorus of solidarity towards the star. The decision to collect the award for the worst actor comes only now and does not seem “of their own free will”, in short, in the sense that the withdrawal of Razzie is following a considerable controversy that broke out on social networks in the past few hours.
The controversy of the past few hours
Shortly after news of Bruce Willis’ official retirement from acting due to cognitive impairment (caused by aphasia), the Razzie Awards posted an ironic message on Twitter. Words that immediately aroused the disdain of Willis fans.
“The Razzies are very sorry about the Bruce Willis diagnosis. Perhaps this explains why he wanted to leave with a bang in 2021. Our best wishes to Bruce and his family ”, this is the tweet posted by the official awards account. After presenting him with the award at the last edition (held a few days ago, 24 hours before the Oscars ceremony), this further dig seemed to many to be not very noble. A considerable fuss has arisen on the net, prompting the US magazine The Wrap to ask those directly involved, the co-founders John Wilson and Mo Murphy.
They did not take advantage of the opportunity to make a my fault and apologize. They explained their point of view as follows: “We are very sorry for Willis’s disease, which we were not aware of before the news spread a few hours ago. […] Whoever manages Willis’s business perhaps shouldn’t have allowed him to do so much work in such a short time, especially if they were aware of his situation. In defense of Willis, his representatives should have better protected his legacy. “
The Razzies are awards born in 1980. The idea is to recognize film interpretations that are not appreciated by the public and critics. They dedicated an entire category to Bruce Willis, naming eight films of him for the worst performance of the protagonist (Bruce Willis in fact), the last of which the 2021 film entitled Cosmic Sin. As is customary, these awards are given the day before the Oscars ceremony. After honoring Willis for his recent role in the aforementioned science fiction and action movie, Willis’ family revealed four days later that he was diagnosed with aphasia. On the net, the controversy addressed to the Razzies, criticized for their lack of sensitivity, has ignited.
The Afterthought: Willis’ Razzie Award Pickup
After the rain of controversy that hit the official profile of the Razzie Awards, in the end the organization of the awards has changed.
“After much thought and consideration, the Razzies have decided to revoke the Razzie Award awarded to Bruce Willis, due to his recently revealed diagnosis”, these are the words of Wilson and Murphy pronounced yesterday, Thursday 31 March.
The two founders acknowledged that if medical conditions become a determining factor in acting performance, then there’s no need to deliver a Razzie.
The Razzie retreat to Shelley Duvall
In addition to revoking Bruce Willis’ Worst Performance Award, the Razzie Awards also revoked Shelley Duvall’s 42-year-old nomination. The actress was nominated for a Worst Performance Award for her role as Wendy in Shining.
In this case, the Razzies speak of “extenuating circumstances” such as the “treatment reserved for her by director Stanley Kubrick during production”.
Shelley Duvall’s trauma after her work on the set of The Shining
Shelley Duvall recalled her traumatic experience with Kubrick on the set of Shining in an interview given last year to The Hollywood Reporter.
“[Kubrick] it doesn’t print anything until at least the 35th take, “he said.” Thirty-five takes, running, crying and carrying a baby, becomes difficult. And the complete performance of the first test. It’s hard. ”Duvall added:“ After a while your body rebels. He says, ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry every day. ‘ And sometimes just that thought made me cry. Waking up on Monday morning, so early, and realizing that you had to cry all day because it was scheduled, I would start crying ”.
Already last month, after Duvall’s statements came out on The Hollywood ReporterWilson and Murphy had talked to the US magazine Vulture opening the possibility to rethink. “Knowing the background and how Stanley Kubrick pulverized her, I’d retire it, Wilson said. He and the co-founder have done so now, on the occasion of the Bruce Willis award.