By Kate Gill
As predicted, all eyes were focused on Google CEO Sundar Pichai when he testified in front of Congress on Tuesday. But perhaps of more interest to spectators was a face in the background ー the Monopoly Man, who resurfaced to troll corporate America once again this week.
According to Ian Madrigal, the D.C. attorney behind the viral persona, the mustachioed figure is the ultimate symbol of corporate malfeasance.
"All of these corporations are committing terrible acts, they are not being regulated by Congress and Monopoly Man points out that wealth and greed and power lets you get away with those things," Madrigal told Cheddar Big News Wednesday.
Madrigal first entered public consciousness in 2017 when the attorney appeared in full Monopoly garb ー hat, monocle, and all ー at a Senate Banking Committee hearing probing the massive Equifax data breach. Madrigal sat conspicuously behind the then-CEO of Equifax, twisting a monocle and waving a dollar bill.
According to Madrigal, the costume is more than a PR stunt.
"I try to basically get more attention on the hearings that I think folks should be watching but maybe aren't," Madrigal said.
"When the Equifax data breach, happened a lot of people I think were appalled and but then pretty quickly forgot about it. But the fact is 145 million Americans' personal data, including their Social Security numbers, was leaked and this company was trying to avoid accountability for it by pushing us out of the court system."
But how did Madrigal score that seat behind Pichai? It was easy.
"The great secret to all of this is that these hearings are open to the public, so if you get in line early enough you can snag whatever spot you want. Luckily, I'm actually an attorney and advocate here in D.C. and so I've been to hearings before in my professional role ー so I know all the tricks."
If you don't believe Madrigal, just Google it.