The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 10

In A Witch’s Romance, episode 10, Dong-Ha quit his job at Trouble Maker and went into self-destruction mode (i.e., he drank, got into fights and skipped work) when he learned that Ji-Yeon and Shi-Hoon were back together.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 10 of A Witch’s Romance passed the race test but did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Because episode 10 had an entirely non-White cast and White people were never mentioned by any of the characters, all of the conversations that occurred in episode 10 passed all of the race test’s requirements (i.e., that there should be at least one instance where non-White characters talk to each other without mentioning White people) and the episode, consequently, passed the race test.  Episode 10 did not, however, pass either the Bechdel or Russo test.

Episode 10 did not pass the Bechdel test because even though named women talked to each other on several different occasions, men were always mentioned in their conversations. And as to why episode 10 did not pass the Russo test, there were no LGBTI characters in the episode so the episode did not pass any of the Russo test’s three requirements.

*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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