TThe Monopoly man went to Washington and made an appearance at the Senate Banking Committee hearing.
The character was wearing a top hat, a monocle, and a white mustache and sat behind former Equifax CEO Richard Smith while he was testifying before the committee.
Smith was there to testify about a data breach that compromised personal identifying information for more than 145 million people. He was so absorbed by the hearing that he didn’t notice Rich Uncle Pennybags from the classic board game.
The Monopoly man, who was actually a woman, drew a lot of attention on social media, which was the initial aim.
The stunt was organized by Public Citizen, a non-profit organization that stands up to corporate power and has been holding the government accountable for 46 years now.
The organization wanted to raise awareness of Equifax’s forced arbitration clauses that limit consumers’ ability to take disputes to court and even compared the situation to a virtual “get-out-of-jail-free card” as handed out by the Monopoly man.
Public Citizen claimed in a press release that: “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.”
The mascot was played by Amanda Werner, a campaign manager for Public Citizen. She tweeted a photo of herself in the Monopoly man’s costume saying that: “The Monopoly Man is here to raise attention to Equifax’s get-out-of-jail-free card, forced arb.” She also told HuffPost that her appearance definitely “made the Equifax folks around me pretty uncomfortable.”
We can all agree that the idea was brilliant and that the message was received. However, now that the tactic has been seen by millions on social media, will this actually put an end to these companies’ scams? Will they be held accountable in court for what they have done?
Stay tuned for more fun cartoons!