Fact Check: Qantas CEO Was NOT Hit In The Face With A Pie For Attempting to Force Vaccinations

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Qantas CEO Was NOT Hit In The Face With A Pie For Attempting to Force Vaccinations Old Protest

Did Qantas Airlines CEO Alan Joyce get a pie smashed into his face for trying to force COVID-19 vaccinations onto potential passengers? No, that's not true: This video was published four years before the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, and Tony Overheu committed this act in protest of Joyce's views on same-sex marriage.

This claim appeared in a BitChute video published on June 13, 2021, titled "QANTAS CEO ALAN JOYCE GETS HIS DESSERT FOR TRYING TO FORCE VACCINATIONS." (archived here). The description underneath the video read:

Mr Tony Overhue later speaking to a radio show host. "Middle Australia completely rejects corporate bullying aimed at social engineering," the statement said. "Qantas is insulting many staff and passengers with their boarding pass propaganda. "What Airbnb is doing in Canberra airport is highly offensive. "Outfits like Wesfarmers and Holden lose huge credibility supporting such campaigns. "The blatant bullying and extortion of Coopers Brewery was totally reprehensible. "CEOs need to respect Australia is a democracy where backdoor attempts to subvert the clear wishes of the overwhelming majority will cost companies bottom lines. "Allan Joyce is paid $13 million to run airlines not bulldoze Australia socially against its will."

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce gets his just dessert for trying to force vaccinations.

Users on social media only saw this title, description, and thumbnail:

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce gets his just dessert for trying to force vaccinations.

The video opens with a man, subsequently identified as Tony Overheu, walking up to Joyce, the CEO of Qantas Airlines, while Joyce was giving a speech at a business breakfast in Australia, grabbing him from behind, and smashing what was later described as a lemon meringue pie in Joyce's face while proceeding to walk off stage. Joyce, caught off guard, curses Overhue while shaking off the debris from the pastry and removing his glasses. Not knowing the context of the action, he then apologizes to viewers and exits the stage to get cleaned off.

The comments underneath reveal the video dates back to an article published in 2017. This means the incident in question happened three years before the COVID-19 pandemic and four years before release of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The article reveals Joyce was pied in protest of his support for same-sex marriage. Overheu admitted to hiding behind a screen for several hours to smash the pie in Joyce's face, and he later apologized for his actions.

In response, Joyce pressed charges and concluded:

"Nobody should be ... intimidated, nobody should be bullied, nobody should certainly have an incident like occurred yesterday to try to stop people having that freedom of speech."

Qantas Airlines website says it follows government mandates as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and Australia's Chief Medical Officer regarding vaccination and quarantine for airline passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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