The Association of Professional Flight Attendants is urging actress Nicole Kidman to step down as the new brand ambassador for Etihad Airways.
According to an open letter posted on the APFA's website, the United Arab Emirates-based Etihad is notorious in the airline industry for "discriminatory labor practices and deplorable treatment of female employees."
"Etihad is a regressive company that seeks to return our industry to its darkest ages," the letter reads. It goes on to cite reports that the airline has fired female employees if they become pregnant and forces them to live in "secure compounds."
The Oscar winning actress best known for starring in "Moulin Rouge" and "The Hours," among other major Hollywood productions, serves as a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, and the APFA used her own words to allege hypocrisy by working with Etihad Airways.
"Imagine a world free from violence against women and girls," Kidman once said. "A world where equality and respect and justice are not just ideals, or possible for only a few women and girls, but the norm for all of us."
The letter concludes: "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 employee."
Etihad Airways has since responded by saying, "Our commitment to the welfare, safety, and well-being of the diverse group of men and women who have worked so hard to make Etihad Airways great is one of our airline’s top priorities."
"When a cabin crew member informs Etihad of a pregnancy, she is provided with appropriate ground duties for the duration of their pregnancy," the airline's statement continues. "During this time, she remains fully compensated and fully engaged on the ground."
"Cabin crew are also entitled to paid maternity leave if they have completed more than one year’s service," Etihad added. "Our cabin crew are then able to return to their flying role at the end of their maternity leave period. The health and safety of our cabin crew remains paramount. Therefore, we follow the GCAA requirement that crew do not continue to fly while pregnant."
Representatives for Kidman did not immediately return TheWrap's request for comment.