The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Scream Queens, “Beware of Young Girls” – Season 1, Episode 6

SCREAM QUEENS: L-R: Ariana Grande, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Billie Lourd, Skyler Samuels, Nasim Pedrad, Glen Powell and Lucien Laviscount in the "Beware Of Young Girls" episode of SCREAM QUEENS airing Tuesday, Nov. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patti Perret/FOX.

Chanel held not only a funeral for Chanel #2 on Scream Queens, “Beware of Young Girls,” but she and the rest of the living Chanels also held a séance for Chanel #2.

During the séance, Chanel #2 told the Chanels that Chanel is the serial killer, and convinced that Chanel truly was the serial killer, the living Chanels proceeded to hatch a plot to murder Chanel.

Grace and Pete, in the meanwhile, were busy investigating Dean Munsch who they were convinced was the serial killer, and when she was arrested for the brutal murder of her ex-husband, they thought that they could rest easy but they found that this was not the case.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Beware of Young Girls” passed the Russo test but did not pass the Bechdel or race test.

Dean Munsch is arrested for the murder of her ex-husband.

Of the Bechdel, Russo and race test, “Beware of Young Girls” only passed the Russo test, and the episode passed the Russo test because the one LGBTI character in the episode, Chanel #3, was not defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., her orientation never came up in the episode and she was instead defined as being a homicidal sorority sister) and her removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot as she was part of the main storyline (i.e., she was one of the Chanels that planned the downfall of Chanel).

As to why “Beware of Young Girls” did not pass the Bechdel or race test, this is because even though women talked to each other several times, the women either didn’t have names or they mentioned men and because there was only one non-White person (Zayday) 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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