Fact Check-Video of airline CEO being hit in the face with pie dates to 2017 and is unrelated to COVID-19 vaccination policies

Social media users have miscaptioned a video of an airline CEO being hit in the face with a pie during a briefing, claiming the incident was in retaliation to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. The incident occurred in 2017, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 20-second clip shows CEO of Qantas Airways Ltd., Alan Joyce, being smeared with pie on stage at a business breakfast by a man wearing a suit. A 7News logo can be seen on the bottom left and top right corner of the video.

One user who shared the clip via Twitter said: “A man casually walks on stage and puts a pie into the face of a [sic] airline CEO who mandated #Covid vaccines for his employees #NoMandatoryVaccines” (here).

Another user, who shared the video on Facebook said: “This is so satisfying to watch: Man puts a pie into this Australian airline's CEO for forcing vaccinations. Good job sir. Epic” (here).

Examples of the video being shared online can be seen (here), (here) and (here), (here).

The clip is not recent, but from 2017. The incident occurred in May 2017 in Perth, Australia prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (here).

7News Australia coverage was uploaded to Facebook on May 9, 2017 (here).

The incident was also covered by news outlets such as NBC News, The Independent, Business Insider and CNN (here), (here), (here), (here).

News outlets reported at the time that the individual who pushed the pie into Joyce’s face did so in retaliation against the Qantas CEO’s support of same-sex marriage and was later fined (here), (here), (here).

In Aug. 2021, Qantas Airways said it would require all employees to be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine (here).

Reuters has previously addressed miscaptioned clips and images being shared online with incorrect context (here), (here), (here).


False. A clip of an airline CEO being hit with pie during a briefing is unrelated to vaccine mandates or the COVID-19 pandemic. The incident occurred in 2017.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.