Here’s The (Pathetic) Reason A Guy Pied Qantas’ CEO

Yesterday I shared a video of Qantas’ CEO, Alan Joyce, getting pied during a speech at a business conference in Perth. He was in the middle of a speech when a man walked on stage, pied him in the face, and walked off. I found it to be a bit creepy, given the look on the guy’s face, and since this wasn’t a teenager playing a prank or anything.

Well, the man’s motive for pieing Qantas’ CEO has now been revealed, and Joyce is pressing charges. 67 year old Tony Overheu decided to pie Joyce to make a statement about marriage equality. Joyce is openly gay, and Qantas is a big supporter of marriage equality in Australia. Overheu doesn’t like that, and thinks that Qantas is “bulldozing” their agenda. Per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Overheu, from the southern Perth suburb of Willeton, said he was opposed to Qantas’ campaign in favour of same-sex marriage and wanted to make a statement.

“Alan Joyce is a very active individual in this process [towards marriage equality] and in that context he was appropriate [to target],” Overheu said.

“I’ve never done that sort of thing, I’m a law-abiding person, but I think this is part of inevitable pushback.

“When the community is grumpy, figures who are overstepping the line have got to anticipate there will be pushback in some shape or form.

While I think people have every right to “pushback in some shape or form” (even if I disagree with those ideas), pieing someone in the face as a form of expression crosses the line.

Joyce plans to press assault charges, and obviously isn’t backing down on his views:

“The police are continuing their investigation and my intention is to send a message that this type of behaviour isn’t acceptable and that I will have every intention of pressing charges,” he said.

“I have every intention to continue to be vocal on those social and community issues.”

“It’s important for our shareholders, our employees, and our customers. It’s called good corporate social responsibility.”

Here’s an interview with the man who pied Joyce:

On the plus side (if there is such a thing in this case), at least he claims he intentionally chose a soft pie so he could make a point without inflicting any physical harm. That doesn’t in any way excuse this pathetic act, but lord only knows there are much more violent ways that people have tried to “make a point.”

Comments

  1. Just….bizarre
    I mean, I guess it worked, in the sense that he got way more press coverage than he would have otherwise. I suppose it depends on if you believe the old adage of “no such thing as bad publicity”

  2. Ignoring the rightness or wrongness of the point he was trying to make, you do have to respect the facts that he made his protest in a way that nobody got hurt, no property was destroyed, no riot was incited and he didn’t cover his face with a ski mask, thereby accepting the consequences. Not like these “protesters” in Berkeley wearing masks, torching cars, throwing molotov cocktails, rioting, breaking windows and looting in the name of “a protest.”

  3. Dude, welcome to conservative right-wing Australia. Even our government said corporate leaders should leave politics to the politicians. Pffttt.. They do nothing. It’s our corporate leaders i.e. Alan Joyce & bank CEO’s who are the voice of our country. Our Prime Minister before getting into power was the biggest supporter of marriage equality, becoming a Republic etc. etc. All Australia’s from both sides of politics thought he’d be great, but now since he is power, he is controller by the right-wing conservatives – no power what so ever. Qantas even painted an aircraft in the Mardi Gras colours earlier this year & Joyce (as he is gay) got ripped apart from the Government!

  4. If you disagree with a companies stance on something you can:
    – Campaign outside their head office;
    – Write a letter to their leadership;
    – Boycott them and encourage others to do so.
    What this man did was assault a stranger. How would he like it if Joyce came over to his place and threw a marriage equality pie in HIS face?
    The way he calmly tries to justify what he did shows he is mentally unwell. They said ‘his family is disgusted’. If my Father did something like that I would not speak to him and would completely exclude him from my life until he personally apologised to both me and Joyce and showed meaningful actions to reverse what he did such as spend time volunteering with a marriage equality charity.
    I applaud Joyce for pressing charges.
    Absolutely disgusting.

  5. What a twat!! Earlier I said that Joyce wouldn’t want this fool charged. Now I know why this fool acted the way he did I’m glad Joyce is proving me wrong.

  6. Hardly surprising. While the laid-back image of Australia makes everyone believe it’s a tolerant and liberal place, it’s actually a bit of a right wing cess-pit in vast areas (especially outside the state capitals). Not a great shock given its a country built on genocide that’s still largely indifferent to making amends for it (or even acknowledging it ever happened).

    Still the best country in the world though!

  7. I’m glad Mr. Joyce is pressing charges. This guy Overheu sounds like a bitter old man who can’t stand that society is changing and leaving him behind. He wants to live in a world that no longer exist. Safe to assume homophobia is not the only thing on his list of prejudices. I’ll make a Vegas bet he supports Pauline Hanson. (Yes, some of us American know about her. Something about her orange hair. Reminds me of someone in this country. Hmm, but I can’t put my finger on who…)

  8. @J.J. before you write about a topic from afar as an armchair commentator, on a country you’ve probably never set foot in before, you need to do a bit more research first. Perhaps you can Google James Ashby ( Pauline Hanson’s Chief of Staff) and confirm if she’s as homophobic as you say she is.

  9. @J.J
    Things are relative. Compared with 95% of elected Republicans and a significant number of Democrats,Hanson looks decidedly left wing. Hanson is a minor populist.
    The real nutcase ratbags in Australian politics are in the religious right.

  10. so the guy creams another guy’s face just to show that he’s anti-gay?!?!

    oh boy…me thinks that guy is a major closet case.

  11. @IJP I have indeed set foot many times in Australia. I am well aware of James Ashby’s colorful past. It has been well reported in Australian media. To be clear although I do not consider Ms. Hanson specifically homophobic, her stance on gay marriage has been at best contradictory. Also she has made comments about Asians, Muslims and immigrants that many would find controversial, especially in a country that is becoming increasingly diverse.

  12. Put the shoe on the other foot–what if the exec was virulently anti-LGBTQ, would all of you feel exactly the same about assault charges?

  13. @Paolo. I totally agree. It’s all relative. Like former PM Tony Abbott was staunchly against gay marriage though he has a gay sister (speaking of relative).

    @Truth. It depends who gets the pie. Like Rush Limbaugh, I’d totally be aghast, because it would be a waste of a good pie 🙂

  14. Somehow I suspect that most of you would not feel so appalled if someone pied the Chick Fil A CEO in the face. Selective outrage at its finest.

  15. Ben, please use apostrophes properly. It is “Qantas’s”, Quantas is a singular noun, so it should never be S-apostrophe. You only use apostrophes after the S when it is a plural, such as the Schlappigs’ house, never British Airways’, American Airlines’, etc.

  16. The idiot who pied the CEO has a face so miserable looking , if someone looked up curmudgeon in the dictionary; you’d find his picture.

  17. N we will all be eternally grateful that we have you keeping us apprised of grammatical errors we make
    Can I request that you take the following commenters and simply fall off the face of the earth quietly please
    You for being annoying and the rest for being socially inept please
    Please note that just so you can get your shorts in a bundle I have refrained from using any punctuation what so ever
    Please have a nice day and don t let the door strike you in the backside as you depart

  18. Hey look! WR is so tired of winning more stupid fell out of his keyboard!

    In a more serious note, I hope there’s an organization like the ACLU in Australia that can lend a hand to this case, as this would be right up their alley.

  19. @n & @ Jo145
    Incase you didn’t know friendly fact QANTAS is an acronym- Queensland And Northern Territory Ariel Services

    As for yesterday’s remarks on the other thread with the video post I regret saying anything about Australia’s lapse and laid back attitude to things like this in terms of assault charges, mainly because we were not yet informed of the offenders motive, which I think is piss weak and pathetic reason, he has made a fool of himself so I’m glad Mr Joyce is getting him charged, which I think hes doing on principle because of the offenders statements, maybe if there was some other reasoning Joyce may of not bothered with it, Glad to see Joyce is sticking to his beliefs and stance on the issue. The offender is clearly an idiot and a troll that needs to grow up… Realise the world we live in today is different to the world he thinks it’s acceptable to throw pies in…

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