Nicole Kidman is coming under fire from a flight attendants’ union for appearing in a new campaign for Etihad Airways.
The actress stars in the commercial “Flying Reimagined” as well as several print ads featuring the airline’s latest amenity offerings.
But the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has called out Etihad and other airlines based in the UAE for their “discriminatory labor practices and deplorable treatment of female employees.”
Now the APFA has decried Kidman’s decision to promote the airline, claiming airlines practices contradict her “efforts to advance women’s rights around the world as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador," reports The Hill.
APFA President Laura Glading wrote that Etihad’s “abhorrent labor policies are hardly surprising when one considers the fact that the airline is wholly owned by the UAE, a country where the only thing that is being ‘stepped up’ for women and girls is the level of abuse.” The president of the association elaborated that the country permits domestic violence against women—including beating and rape—as well imprisoning victims who come forward to authorities.
Glading called the airline a “a regressive company that seeks to return our industry to its darkest ages” and strongly encouraged Kidman to reconsider her affiliation with Etihad.
“We urge you, on behalf of the women and girls that you spoke of so eloquently, not to play a part in promoting Etihad Airways, a company that imposes abusive labor practices on its female employees and whose sole owner is a government that stands against the very world that you imagine,” she wrote.
The APFA represents 25,000 flight attendants—the majority of whom are women.
Despite pleas from the attendant association, Etihad is defending its labor practices, claiming its policies extend beyond standard UAE law.
“Our crew are entitled to the full scope of benefits in line with UAE laws, but we choose to go further,” the company wrote in a statement to The Hill.
“Etihad provides many benefits that exceed those requirements significantly, such as housing allowances, comprehensive medical insurance, education expenses, company-wide performance bonuses, robust HR practices, career advancement opportunities, global flight benefits, emergency services, childcare services, and a generous leave policy.”
Check out Kidman's dreamy spot for the airline.