Getting a pie in the face, is an old comedic tradition, that predates Wikipedia’s entry, claiming it in 1909 with the comedy film Mr Flip.
Known as pieing, getting one in the moosh can be hilarious and is a well-known form of protest. Alan Joyce the CEO of Qantas was recently pied, by Tony Overheu who was protesting against Joyce’s use of his position to promote gay marriage in Australia.
Joyce like most of those pied, wasn’t thrilled but rather than laughing it off and using it as an opportunity to further promote his cause, he instead responded by saying “I will have every intention of pressing charges”.
Joyce perhaps mistakenly believes he is following in the steps of a rather more famous Australian, Rupert Murdoch, whose ‘pier’, was convicted of assault and spent 3 weeks in prison. Unfortunately, the octogenarian Murdoch showed he has a thicker skin than the 51-year old aviation boss, when he refused to support the charges brought by the Crown Prosecution Service. Rather ironically, Murdoch was Joyce’s effective boss when Joyce joined Ansett Airlines in 1996. Ansett was a tough business but the canny Murdoch sold out in 2000 for $680m, the same year Joyce joined Qantas.
Normally, I’d ignore Joyce, but his outrage and lack of humour, were in stark contrast to a Facebook post on the same day, from one of my old mate’s from Australia.
He’d commented on how his son (one of my much neglected godchildren) had reacted to his nickname, Sizzler, something kids at school called him because of his lisp. Rather than moaning to his parent and teachers, or like Joyce feeling like a victim, he instead embraced the name, even getting it sewn onto the back of his football training jumper.
I may be a terrible godparent, but I know when I see greatness. Felix, your actions are an object lesson in character and leadership that shame the antics of Alan Joyce.