While the Academy Awards might recognize the year’s best in film, there has been an awards show doing just the opposite for decades, now. It’s known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, and was first held in 1981 after film marketing expert John J.B. Wilson held a private party in which he announced what people thought was the worst movie of the year. Since then, the Golden Raspberry Awards (or Razzies, for short) has grown into something that receives global interest, especially with the rise of the internet and the ability to actually watch the ceremony.
It’s delightfully tacky on purpose, with people being able to join the committee for a fee of $40, and they don’t even have to watch the films that were nominated. This has led to some memorable moments, and some films racking up more than a dozen “award” nominations such as Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill”. Some that have been nominated have even accepted their Razzies, including showing up in person.
In 1988, Bill Cosby became the first person to accept a Razzie, though he didn’t arrive in person. Cosby was given the title for Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Worst Screenplay for the bomb “Leonard Part 6”, which is heralded as one of the worst movies of all-time. Cosby received his Razzie in the mail, and took it on television to show it off, boosting the award show’s recognition.
It would be several more years before another actor accepted their award, this time with Tom Selleck receiving his during an appearance on a talk show. Selleck won Worst Supporting Actor for “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery”. In 1996, director Paul Verhoeven became the first person to show up at the Razzies, accepting his titles for Worst Director and Worst Picture for “Showgirls”.
You’d think that might start a trend for people showing up, but there have only been a handful to attend the Razzies since then. In 2002, Tom Green showed up to accept his five Razzies that were given for “Freddy Got Fingered”, which included Worst Actor and Worst Picture. Eventually, Green had to be removed from the stage as he wouldn’t stop playing a harmonica and delaying the show.
Two actors have accepted their Razzies in person, both of whom are Oscar winners. Halle Berry accepted her award for Worst Actress after winning an Oscar for “Monster’s Ball”. She also brought along writer Michael Ferris, and they both had won for “Catwoman” in 2005. Five years later, Sandra Bullock accepted her fate, collecting two Razzies for “All About Steve” in the same year writer J. David Shapiro attended for his film “Battlefield Earth” winning Worst Picture of the Decade.
Actors have a legacy that they don’t want to tarnish, while others are able to poke a little fun at themselves. Time will tell if more actors show up to the faux awards show to be part of the laugh. As for their agents and studios, though, they might not want that to happen.