It's Not All Golden: Allegations Rise Of Rigging In The Razzies
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Now to the Golden Raspberry Awards, the Razzies as they're known, which honor Hollywood's worst. Some of Hollywood's biggest names have won - Ben Affleck, Al Pacino, Sandra Bullock. The awards are intended to poke fun at their less-than-Oscar-worthy performances. This year, they are also sparking controversy amid allegations that - shock, horror, gasp - the Razzies are rigged. Chris Gardner has been all over this story for The Hollywood Reporter. He joins me now. Hey, Chris.
CHRIS GARDNER: Hey, Mary Louise.
KELLY: So I'm told this story landed on your desk thanks to an anonymous tip. What happened?
GARDNER: Yes, correct. So this anonymous source sent us a ballot on the day the nominations closed alleging that some of the nominees who received enough votes to get nominated for a Razzie award were replaced by some other higher-profile actors, some other higher-profile films.
KELLY: So give me an example of a film or an actor who seemed like they made the cut but then ended up not being on the shortlist.
GARDNER: So the shark attack pick "The Meg" received enough votes to come in 11th place, but somehow it is included among the top five nominees this year. Kevin Spacey of "Billionaire Boys Club" got enough votes to be included among the top five but did not make the final cut actually and instead replaced by Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.
KELLY: So what's going on here? What did your reporting show?
GARDNER: My reporting showed that straight from the founder's mouth, John Wilson - he tells me that there was a technical glitch that caused a surge in voting on the final day that the ballots were open, and that surge bumped up a lot of these actors and films to the top five. And so that's why some of them were included and the other ones which seemed to be a lock to get nominated this year were left off.
But you know, my source is also alleging that some of them were probably replaced just because of star power perhaps or maybe, you know, somebody like Kevin Spacey was not included because he's a bit toxic right now, facing so many sexual misconduct allegations. So there's just a lot at play here. But John Wilson says that he's very satisfied with the final nominees and that the only problems that they had were these technical glitches.
KELLY: And just to be clear in terms of how the process is supposed to work, anybody can sign up to vote on it. You pay - what? - $40, and that lets you vote for a year for your annual membership.
GARDNER: That is correct. So you can pay $40 for the year. Or if you're feeling lucky, you can do $500 for a lifetime membership.
KELLY: I mean, let me ask this. Does it matter if there was a lack of complete integrity in a process that's supposed to be a little bit silly and lighthearted? This is not exactly the Nobel Prize we're discussing.
GARDNER: Yeah. It's interesting because the whole thing is a bit tongue in cheek. But I think when people are spending their own money, people get upset when they think that there's something amiss there. You know, there are going to be no actors filing petitions to make sure that their name is included on there, but...
KELLY: (Laughter) They're not excluded from the Razzie competition.
GARDNER: Yeah. And so it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. And you know, this is a fascinating year in awards season in Hollywood on a larger scope as well because, you know, there have been a number of controversies in the regular awards season. And so to see it spill over to this is just to be expected in a year that's a bit wacky anyway.
KELLY: That's Chris Gardner, senior staff writer with The Hollywood Reporter, talking to us about the Razzie Awards, which will be awarded on the 23rd of this month. Thanks so much, Chris.
GARDNER: Thank you so much, Mary Louise. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.