Nicole Kidman Supported By Flight Attendants Amid Backlash Over Anti-Female Etihad Airways

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman has been slammed for appearing as the spokeswoman for Etihad Airways, slammed by flight attendants as anti-female. Steve Granitz/

Update: A group of American Airlines attendants has spoken out in support of Nicole Kidman after their union president slammed the actress for her involvement with Etihad Airways.

The group posted a response letter on Monday, April 6 saying they would like to "personally apologize" to the Moulin Rouge! star and described the APFA's attack as "unwarranted and unjustified" and part of a personal political agenda.

"Her attack on you is aimed solely at opening doors in Washington and has little to do with the rights of flight attendants employed by foreign carriers," the letter said.

Original story: Nicole Kidman was named the new face of Etihad Airways in March, but over the weekend, her ad campaign took quite a nosedive. Launching Etihad's Flying Reimagined brand campaign last month, the Oscar-winning actress starred in and narrated short ad spots promoting the company's new Airbus A380, but the Association of Professional Flight Attendants is urging Kidman to cut ties with the brand.

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A United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for women since 2006, Kidman — a mother of four — is under fire for her partnership with Etihad, which APFA alleges fired women for being pregnant and subjected its flight attendants to confined, subpar living arrangements.

"We urge you, on behalf of the women and girls that you spoke of so eloquently [on International Women's Day], 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," read the group’s statement, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter April 5.

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Union president Laura Glading asked Kidman, 47, to join with the group's 19,000 female employees in standing up for what’s right — in the air and on the ground. "[Etihad's alleged practices] are the types of conditions that APFA fought to eradicate decades ago in the United States," she wrote.

While Kidman has yet to comment on the situation, her latest employer is standing behind its company and their message. "We strive to attract the top talent in the industry and it's working," Etihad’s rebuttal, according to Arabian Business, read. “Last year, we were inundated with requests from people for the opportunities Etihad Airways offers — with more than 260,000 who applied to join the airline from all over the world."

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The company also flatly denied that pregnant women were dismissed from their jobs, and, in response to the issue of employees' cramped quarters, said that crew safety is paramount.

Kidman isn't the only celebrity face to draw ire as the result of an overseas ad campaign. Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore was dropped from her gig promoting travel and tourism in Turkey last month after execs scoffed at her "poor acting' during a commercial shoot.

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