The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 6

Dong-Ha’s dead girlfriend’s memorial day occurred in episode 6 of A Witch’s Romance, and there were all kinds of feels going on. Namely, Dong-Ha realized that his dead girlfriend had wanted him to move on after her death; Eun-Chae discovered that Dong-Ha was her dead sister’s boyfriend; Ji-Yeon learned about Dong-Ha’s girlfriend and the story behind his dead plant; and Dong-Ha yelled at Ji-Yeon and kicked her out of his home because she had transplanted his plant.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 6 of A Witch’s Romance passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There were a couple of named women in episode 6 and there were a couple of occasions where named women talked to each other but there was only one instance where named women actually talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g. Eun-Chae talked to Ji-Yeon about Ji-Yeon’s mother). However, because there was at least one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men the episode did pass the Bechdel test.

Episode 6 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because all of the characters in the episode were Asian and White people were never mentioned by any of the characters (which means that every conversation that occurred in episode 6 involved non-White characters talking to each other without mentioning White people).

As to the Russo test, episode 6 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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