The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Scream, “The Dance” – Season 1, Episode 9

On Scream, “The Dance,” Seth Branson was arrested by the police under the assumption that he was the serial killer, and because everyone thought the killer had been caught, the annual high school dance went on as planned. However, at the dance it was not only revealed that Seth might not be the serial killer but that Kieran might actually be the one who has been terrorizing everyone.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“The Dance” did not pass any of the diversity tests. The episode didn’t pass any of these tests because while there were many occasions where named women talked to each other, there was never an occasion where named women talked to each other without mentioning men; and because there were no LGBTI or non-White 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.