Nicole Kidman, who has been a spokesperson for the UN Women’s Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women initiative and has traveled the world meeting with women survivors of violence, is under fire for her new ad campaign with Etihad Airways.
In an open letter to the Australian actress, Association of Professional Flight Attendants national president Laura Glading, said Kidman is sending a conflicted message to women by starring in Etihad’s new “Hollywood Glamour” global brand campaign.
As a United Nations women’s goodwill ambassador since 2006, Nicole Kidman was taken to task by Glading for ever consider being the face of an airline “well-known in our industry for their discriminatory labor practices and deplorable treatment of female employees”.
“Last month, on March 8, International Women’s Day, you said, ‘I envisage a world where all women and girls have equal opportunities and rights … Now is the time to step it up’,” Glading wrote in the letter to Kidman.
“Later that very same week, we saw that you had begun appearing in a new campaign for Etihad, a company that the Wall Street Journal has publicly reported ‘may fire women if they become pregnant’ and forces flight attendants to live in ‘confinement’ in secure compounds.'”
Union challenges Nicola Kidman over Etihad Airways campaign http://t.co/sPCp6fnqxJ pic.twitter.com/pmGObnZtwJ
— Stuff.co.nz News (@NZStuff) April 3, 2015
“These are the types of conditions that APFA fought to eradicate decades ago in the United States.”
Etihad Airways denies that it treats women employees badly.
“At Etihad Airways, we have become a global, award-winning employer because we value our employees and we treat them with dignity and respect,” an Etihad spokesperson told AAP.
According to the airline, when a cabin crew member informs Etihad of a pregnancy, she is grounded for the duration of her pregnancy, but fully compensated and provided paid maternity leave.
“Our cabin crew are then able to return to their flying role at the end of their maternity leave period,” the Etihad spokesperson said.
“The health and safety of our cabin crew remains paramount. Therefore, we follow the GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority) requirement that crew do not continue to fly while pregnant.”
Nicole Kidman has yet to respond to the letter.