LOS ANGELES - Chase Bank faced some major backlash and was accused of shaming poor people after trying to get in on Twitter’s Monday Motivation hashtag.
In a tweet, the bank tried to imitate a popular meme that involves a person thinking or doing certain things with an inner voice or inanimate object explaining how those thoughts or actions can be bad.
Chase Bank's version was premised on a low bank account balance: “You: why is my balance so low / Bank account: make coffee at home / Bank account: eat the food that’s already in the fridge / Bank account: you don’t need a cab, it’s only three blocks / You: I guess we’ll never know / bank account: seriously? #MondayMotivation”
The backlash that the tweet generated was swift. Followers, celebrities and politicians explained how the tweet came across as “tone-deaf” and was a form of “poor shaming.” Chase deleted the tweet, but since nothing on the internet is lost forever, screenshots appeared everywhere.
Many people reminded the bank that it owes taxpayers money since its parent company, JPMorgan Chase, was part of the 2008 recession bailout.
Presidential candidate and Sen. Elizabeth Warren responded to Chase with a screenshot of the tweet and her own version of a conversation. In it, she used taxpayers, workers and economists who mentioned the bailout, rising cost of living and low wages.
.@Chase: why aren’t customers saving money?— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 29, 2019
Taxpayers: we lost our jobs/homes/savings but gave you a $25b bailout
Workers: employers don’t pay living wages
Economists: rising costs + stagnant wages = 0 savings
Chase: guess we’ll never know
California Rep. Katie Porter also criticized the tweet and told the bank to pay its employees more. During a House hearing earlier in April, she questioned JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on why he pays bank tellers low wages and used a working single mother's expenses as an example of how her pay wasn't enough.
“Families aren’t spending frivolously; they’re trying to pay rent,” she said.
Celebrities such as Patton Oswalt also joined in with more explicit remarks against the bank.
Chase eventually responded and said “Our #MondayMotivation is to get better at #MondayMotivation tweets.” It also thanked Twitter for the feedback.
But comments continued pouring in with screenshots of the original tweet and people responding that even Chase’s apology wasn’t good enough.
“Unless you’re willing to pay back that bailout money to all of us taxpayers directly, I’d stop calling the kettle black,” Twitter user Gina Merrell said.