Razzies Rescind Bruce Willis’ Worst Performance Award After Aphasia Diagnosis

A day after Bruce Willis’ family revealed the actor has been diagnosed with aphasia, the Golden Raspberry Awards have rescinded its recent (dis)honor of the actor. The Razzies are also taking back their nomination of Shelley Duvall for her performance in “The Shining,” who 42 years ago was among those nominated in the very first Razzie Awards.

This year’s Razzies, which were handed out on Saturday, included a special category just for Willis, “Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie,” highlighting the eight critically reviled titles he starred in last year; he won for “Cosmic Sin.” Just a four days later, the 67-year-old actor’s family made public the news of his medical condition, a disease caused by brain damage that impacts a person’s cognitive and communication abilities.

The unfortunate timing led to renewed criticism of the Razzies, which highlights cinematic misfires, under-achievements, and failures. Organizers told IndieWire Wednesday they were considering options of how to respond to news of Willis’ diagnosis. On Thursday morning, co-founders John J. B. Wilson and Mo Murphy revealed their decision in the statement below:

After much thought and consideration, the Razzies have made the decision to rescind the Razzie Award given to Bruce Willis, due to his recently disclosed diagnosis.

If someone’s medical condition is a factor in their decision making and/or their performance, we acknowledge that it is not appropriate to give them a Razzie.

As we recently mentioned in a Vulture Interview, extenuating circumstances also apply to Shelley Duvall in “The Shining.” We have since discovered that Duvall’s performance was impacted by Stanley Kubrick’s treatment of her throughout the production. We would like to take this opportunity to rescind that nomination as well.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday night that Willis’ collaborators had concerns about his declining cognitive state for years: They questioned whether he was fully aware of his surroundings and expressed concerns about his memory, as he required an earpiece to remember his lines.

As for Duvall, recent information has similarly shined a new light on her Razzie-nominated performance. Wilson and Murphy told Vulture last month that they stand by their nomination of “The Shining” in 1980, the Razzies’ inaugural year, though Murphy expressed regret about the nomination of star Duvall for Worst Actress.

“Knowing the backstory and the way that Stanley Kubrick kind of pulverized her, I would take that back,” Murphy said. “We’re willing to say, ‘Yeah, maybe that shouldn’t have been nominated.’ Everybody makes mistakes. That’s being human.”

They did take back that nomination on Thursday. Duvall, in recent years, has been public about what she says is abusive behavior from “The Shining” director Stanley Kubrick, and the emotional toll the film took on the actress is captured in Kubrik’s daughter Vivian’s documentary “Making ‘The Shining.’”

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