The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Reign, “Abandoned” – Season 2, Episode 19

Reign -- "Abandoned" -- Image Number: RE219b_0175.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Torrance Coombs as Bash and Vincent Nappo as Renaude -- Photo: Sven Frenzel /The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

In Reign, “Abandoned,” French boys were taken hostage by a group of Protestants and Condé was implicated as a co-conspirator to their kidnapping.

Francis was infuriated by the kidnapping and Condé was convinced that Francis would have him killed, so in an attempt to save his life, Condé made a foolish decision and secretly married Queen Elizabeth.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

 “Abandoned” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test as named women never talked to each other without mentioning men, non-White characters never talked to each other and there were no LGBTI characters.

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

**The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The show contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a show passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in television. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the show.

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