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.”