The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 1

In A Witch’s Romance, episode 1, the audience is introduced to Ji-Yeon.

Ji-yeon is a reporter who is willing to do absolutely anything for a scoop (hence the nickname “witch”), and in episode 1, she is trying to get photos of an actor (who is seemingly morally perfect) with his mistress and love child.

Ji-Yeon manages to get her photos of the actor, but once she has gotten her photos, she only has twenty minutes to reach a meeting to pitch her photos and none of the taxis will stop for her. Ji-Yeon thus steals a bike from a small child, and she miraculously reaches the meeting in time and her photos of the actor become the main piece of the newspaper.

In celebration of her accomplishment, Ji-Yeon and her coworkers go out drinking, but unbeknownst to Ji-Yeon, her coworkers have a cruel trick in store for her.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 1 passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There was one occasion where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g. Ji-Yeon talked to Eun-Chae in passing about work) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 1 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because all of the characters were Asian, and none of the characters ever mentioned White people.

As to why episode 1 did not pass the Russo test, the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*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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