The award began with the publication of the book The Golden Turkey Awards by film critic Michael Medved. This book is credited with giving the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space by Ed Wood, Jr the reputation of being the "worst movie ever made".
Since the publication of Medved's book, however, it has been criticized by film scholars and film buffs, who stated that Medved's opinion is biased and unfair. Nonetheless, the book's reputation has grown over the years.
See also The Razz Awards.