A man, dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags, caught everyone’s attention at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that took place on Capitol Hill, Washington, where Richard Smith, the beleaguered ex-CEO of Equifax, one of the country’s three major credit reporting agencies, was testifying about the credit card agencies financial data breach.
Twitter as usual exploded with the presence of this extraordinary Monopoly mascot who was trolling Smith and Equifax. The internet wanted to know more about him.
I definitely want to know more about the plans of this man sitting behind the Equifax CEO in Sen. banking hearing in a monopoly man outfit. pic.twitter.com/dwfukJJTA7— Hannah Levintova (@H_Lev) October 4, 2017
The Monopoly Man who is wiping his brow with money and twirling his mustache is magical.😂 pic.twitter.com/GhbtyhIkLw— Carolyn Altland (@AltlandCarolyn) October 4, 2017
Turns out the Monopoly Man was actually a woman, an activist who had a message about “forced arbitration.”
Amanda Werner, who dressed as Monopoly Man: Costume was about "forced arbitration as a get-out-of-jail-free card" https://t.co/THoAHLuoEx— CNN International (@cnni) October 4, 2017
Amanda Werner, who is a campaign manager for Public Citizen, tweeted a photo of herself as the Monopoly Man with the following explanation: “The Monopoly Man is here to raise attention to Equifax’s get-out-of-jail-free card, forced arb.”
Her tweet also included a link to a video, explaining the reason behind the costume.
Public Citizen tweeted a picture of Amanda Werner, dressed as the mascot, with a press release featuring the organization’s president, Robert Weissman’s quote: “Forced arbitration gives companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax a monopoly over our system of justice by blocking consumers’ access to the courts. The [Congressional Review Act] resolution striking down the arbitration rule is a virtual get-out-of-jail-free card for companies engaged in financial scams. It should not pass go.”
Smith stepped down from Equifax and testified that he took complete responsibility for the financial breach which compromised the personal data of millions of people. In September, the company reported a huge data breach owing to hackers who may have accessed the personal details of 143 million U.S. consumers from mid-May to July.
The mascot’s appearance in the Senate was right on point.
In the Monopoly game, unregulated capitalistic greed is celebrated, and all the participants grow more and more aggressive over the course of the five hours it takes to complete the game. After the big Equifax data breach, Republican lawmakers are trying to push for legislation to deregulate credit agencies.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Aron P. Bernstein