The Cheesecake Shop has caused a furore with a Facebook post suggesting Alan Joyce eat “humble pie” after the Qantas CEO was hit in the face with a pie over his support for marriage equality earlier this week.
Joyce was hit with a lemon meringue pie from The Cheesecake Shop as he spoke at a business breakfast in Perth on Tuesday morning.
Assault charges have been laid against Perth man Tony Overheu, who said the attack was prompted by Qantas' campaign in favour of same-sex marriage.
“From my reading, it would appear that Alan Joyce is very much part of a network trying to subvert the federal parliamentary process around the issue of marriage equality,” the 67-year-old said.
Joyce, who is gay, is just one of many Australian CEOs who has publicly expressed his support for the issue.
The tongue-in-cheek Cheesecake Shop post on Thursday apologised for its shop being connected to the incident – but went on to say “we are also a little concerned that your recent tasting of our delicious Lemon Meringue was not appreciated to its full sweetness”.
The post invited Joyce to come and sample a lemon meringue pie: “our traditional favourite featuring a rich and tangy lemon base crowned with super soft sweet meringue and valued at $ 26.95”.
“We would also be happy to offer you the chance to savour any of our other baked in store cakes including tortes, mudcake, pavlovas, cheesecakes and perhaps a generous serve of humble pie.”
It… did not go down well.
People were outraged at The Cheesecake Shop using the attack on Joyce to sell cake, questioned why Joyce would need to eat humble pie, and suggested it would have been better to post a statement in support of LGBTI rights.
On Friday morning, the Cheesecake Shop commented on the post with an apology: “On reflection, and judging by the reaction to The Cheesecake Shop’s letter to Alan Joyce yesterday, we have shown a lack of sensitivity on this matter. We deeply apologise to all who were offended. Our letter should not have made light of this situation.”
A spokesperson told BuzzFeed News “It was poor thinking and poor judgement by our brand to write the post… that's not the approach we should have taken.”