The Razzie Awards said Wednesday that they will not rescind the “Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in 2021” award in light of the actor’s aphasia diagnosis.
“The Razzies are truly sorry for #BruceWillis diagnosed condition,” the parody awards ceremony wrote on Twitter. “Perhaps this explains why he wanted to go out with a bang in 2021. Our best wishes to Bruce and family.”
The message was not well-received on social media, with several users demanding that the Razzies delete it and issue an apology, particularly for the second sentence.
A few hours later, the Razzies replied to itself, “To clarify, we heard about Willis’ diagnosis at the same time everyone else did…just this morning.”
In a statement to TheWrap, Razzie Awards co-founders John Wilson and Mo Murphy said they “stand by” their earlier comments, re-emphasizing that they are “truly sorry to hear about Willis’ diagnosis, of which we were unaware until the story broke earlier today.”
“Whoever handles Willis’ affairs should probably not have permitted him to do such a high volume of work in such a short time, especially if they were aware of his situation,” they continued. “In Willis’ defense, his reps should have kept a better eye on his legacy.”
Earlier on Wednesday, multiple members of Willis’ family announced on social media that he will take a step back from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a cognitive disorder that affects one’s communication abilities, including speaking, writing and understanding language.
“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” read the joint statement. “We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.”
At this year’s parody awards ceremony, which took place the day before the Academy Awards, Willis was honored with his own category of worst performances in 2021. The Golden Globe winner received nominations for straight-to-video films “American Siege,” “Apex,” “Midnight in the Switchgrass,” “Deadlock,” “Fortress,” “Out of Death,” “Survive the Game” and “Cosmic Sin,” for which he took home the Golden Raspberry.
The “Pulp Fiction” and “Moonlighting” actor previously won two Razzies, in 1992 and 1999.
In the statement, Wilson and Murphy said that the category was a one-time feature of the ceremony.
“It should also be pointed out that the ‘Bruce Willis’ category was specific to 2021,” they wrote. “We never intended it to be an on-going category.”
“We’d also like to extend our best wishes to Bruce and his family.”