Actors are not reacting enthusiastically to the decision to no longer award separate Golden Calves for male and female actors.

After the decision, actor Yorick van Wageningen decided to leave the Academy, which determines the distribution of the Golden Calves each year.

The actor immediately cancels his membership at the Dutch Academy.

Van Wageningen, known for films such as

Winter War


Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

, believes that the Academy has decided without thinking twice to award only one prize for the best acting performance in a Dutch film.

"I do not understand that a decision as extensive as this has not been submitted to the members," Van Wageningen writes in a letter.

"Even though making the actor awards gender-neutral might not be a bad thing, the chosen time to do it could hardly be worse."

"The entire cultural sector has been murdered over the past year and a half. Tens of thousands of makers are up to their lips. Talent has been destroyed. And at this very moment you are making a decision without consultation of members on the basis of extraordinarily charged identity politics that you can count on your fingers that they are. will dominate the discussion for the foreseeable future."

The Netherlands Film Festival (NFF), which awards the Golden Calves, has decided that from now on no longer four, but three actor prizes will be awarded in the film category.

Previously, male and female actors were eligible to win the Best Leading and Best Supporting Actor awards separately, but these have now been merged into two gender-neutral categories.

In addition, the award for the best actor in a short film has been added.

Also in the category best leading role in a drama series, no distinction is made anymore between actors and actresses.

However, the category for best supporting actor in a drama series has been added.

'Actress is not helped by this'

"Who will be helped by this?" asks


actress Katja Herbers, who also shares Van Wageningen's letter

, wonders

aloud on Twitter on Thursday. "At least not the woman (who still has fewer roles at her disposal than the man) nor the Dutch film, which thus generates attention for two films less," writes Herbers.

Manoushka Zeegelaar Breeveld, chairman of ACT Actors' Association, is pleased with the changes, because she would like to see a broad representation of actors.

"For now, this new format is a first step towards more inclusiveness and diversity. We are especially happy with the new Kalf for Best Leading Role Short Film, because the diversity of actors and makers who are eligible for this prize until now when it is greatest."

General director Silvia van der Heiden of the NFF says that the discussion about gender inclusivity in the film world is urgent.

"The NFF moves with the spirit of the times and has chosen, as has been the case with the other Golden Calves for decades, to remove the distinction between men and women in the acting awards," she said in a response earlier on Thursday.