Here’s why the Monopoly mascot just crashed the Equifax hearing

Image: public citizen

Equifax’s former CEO Richard Smith is currently testifying before the Senate Finance Committee about the company’s massive data breach… but it’s kind of hard to concentrate on him when someone is photobombing him while dressed like the Monopoly mascot.

2017, everyone.

At the Equifax hearing on Wednesday, while discussing the breach that leaked personal information of more than 140 million people, Smith was overshadowed by someone who appeared to be dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags, visibly photobombing the live stream of Smith’s testimony.

The person appeared to be in full IDGAF trolling mode — dressed in a top hat and red bow tie, compete with a thick white mustache and freaking monocle. And though many were eager to hear Smith’s testimony — anticipating he would accept “full responsibility” as he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday — the Monopoly mascot may have stolen the spotlight.

While the mascot’s presence was a bit confusing to those watching at home, Amanda Werner — a campaign manager for Public Citizen — tweeted an explanation, writing, “The Monopoly Man is here to raise attention to Equifax’s get-out-of-jail-free card, forced arb.”

Werner’s tweet also included a link to a release titled “Forced Arbitration Is a ‘Get-Out-of-Jail-Free’ Card for Banks That Cheat Customers,” and a video providing further reasoning behind the costume.

“This is a jail free card, it has Equifax and Wells Fargo’s logos on it,” the activist said in the video, holding up a mock card. “It basically explains that forced arbitration allows companies to break the law and not have any consequences because consumers can’t actually go to court.”

In the release on Public Citizen’s website, President Robert Weissman elaborated further on the issue. “Forced arbitration gives companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax a monopoly over our system of justice by blocking consumers’ access to the courts.”

“The CRA 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,” he said.

Will Pennybags be able to successfully deliver the card to Smith? Stay tuned.

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Tags: activism business conversations data-breach equifax hearing monopoly senate

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