The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Oh My Ghostess – Season 1, Episode 2

On Oh My Ghostess, episode 2, Soon-Ae (as Bong-Sun) adjusted not only to the life of a dishwasher but to the life of Bong-Sun as well. Admittedly, at first, it was a rough transition, but Soon-Ae quickly began to get the hang of things and was re-accepted by Bong-Sun’s colleagues.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 2 passed the race test but did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

The entire cast of episode 2 was Asian, and White people were never mentioned by any of the characters so all of the conversations that occurred in the episode (and thus the episode itself) passed the race test. The episode did not, however, pass the Bechdel test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there were some occasions where women talked to each other, there was never an instance where women with names talked to each other. Episode 2 also failed to pass the Russo test, and 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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