The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Scream, “In the Trenches” – Season 1, Episode 7

Besides terrible acting and cheesy lines, Scream, “In the Trenches” was all about Emma, Noah, Brooke and Jake rescuing Will, and of course, like usual, they all fell for the killer’s trap and someone wound up dying.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test 

“In the Trenches” did not pass any of the diversity tests. The episode did not pass any of these tests, because one, while named women did talk to each other on many occasions, they never talked without mentioning men. Two, because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode (Audrey does not identify as LGBTI). And three, because only one of the two non-White characters (there were two Black cops in “In the Trenches”) in the episode ever spoke.

*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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