The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Scream, “Wanna Play a Game?” – Season 1, Episode 3

Emma learned that Rachel was murdered and that her mom was Daisy in Scream, “Wanna Play a Game?”

Mad about her mother’s lies, Emma took out her anger on her mysterious stalker and she told him that she was done with him and that she wanted him to leave her alone. This, however, had the exact opposite effect that she wanted, and she wound up being drawn even further into the stalker’s web as her friends were placed in danger.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Wanna Play a Game?” passed the Bechdel test but did not pass the Russo or race test.

Noah and Riley work on a school project/have a date.

There were several named women in “Wanna Play a Game?” and there were several occasions where some of these named women talked to each other. On three of the occasions that named women did talk to each other, men weren’t mentioned (e.g., Brooke, Emma and Riley talked about Nina, Emma asked Riley where she was, and Emma asked Brooke where she was) so all three of these conversations, and thus the episode, passed the Bechdel test. “Wanna Play a Game?” did not, however, pass either the Russo or race test as there were no LGBTI characters (Audrey does not currently identify as LGBTI) and there was only one non-White character (Riley) who had a speaking part.

*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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