A woman dressed as the Monopoly board game character Rich Uncle Pennybags photobombed Equifax’s CEO testifying at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Amanda Werner, the arbitration campaign manager for the progressive advocacy group Public Citizen, donned a top hat, a thick, white mustache, and monocle as she sat directly behind Richard Smith’s left shoulder at the Senate Banking Committee hearing, the Hill reported.
People quickly noticed the person behind Smith and wondered who was behind the costume:
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
One reporter noted that the “Monopoly Man” wiped his brow with a dollar bill:
I don't have video of it (yet!) but the Monopoly Man at the Equifax hearing allegedly wiped his brow with a dollar bill earlier pic.twitter.com/Ocuy80hnFL
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) October 4, 2017
Public Citizen confirmed that Werner was the “Monopoly Man” in a tweet posted late Wednesday morning:
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) October 4, 2017
Public Citizen said in a statement that the appearance was part of a campaign to expose forced arbitration clauses that the organization says Equifax uses to its advantage to avoid punishment and exploit consumers, comparing these clauses to “get out of jail free cards” for banks.
“Make no mistake: Arbitration is a rigged game, one that the bank nearly always wins,” Werner said. “Shockingly, the average consumer forced to arbitrate with Wells Fargo was ordered to pay the bank nearly $11,000. Bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the CFPB’s rule so they can continue to rip off consumers with impunity.”
Smith testified to the banking committee about the Equifax data breach, which left the personal information of approximately 145.5 million Americans vulnerable to hackers. The information exposed included Social Security numbers, birth dates, and names.
The company had been under fire for including a clause in their Terms of Service that barred victims of the data breach from suing Equifax if they used the company’s services to determine whether or not they were affected by the breach. Equifax quickly changed course and removed the clause.
Smith resigned as Equifax CEO September 26 in wake of the fallout from the scandal.