The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 5

On episode 5 of A Witch’s Romance, the Trouble Maker team went on a retreat and misunderstandings ensued. Namely, Ji-Yeon thought that Dong-Ha had a brother and that he was in the hospital; Dong-Ha treated Ji-Yeon badly because he thought that she was bullying Eun-Chae; and the Trouble Maker team bought into a negative rumor about Eun-Chae.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 5 passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

Named women talked to each other several times in episode 5 and there were a couple of occasions where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., there were two separate occasions where Ji-Yeon told Eun-Chae to rest) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 5 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because all of the characters in episode 5 were Asian and White people were never mentioned by any of these characters.

As to the Russo test, episode 5 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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