The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 4

On the fourth episode of The Master’s Sun, Yi-Ryung was haunted by a ghost (and this resulted in her wearing hideous and tacky outfits) and Kong-Sil and Joong-Won struck up a deal.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 4 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

Joong-Won runs after Kong-Sil and embraces her in the hopes that hugging her would ward off any newly turned spirits.

Episode 4 did not pass the Russo test, and it did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 4. As to the Bechdel and race test, episode 4 did pass these diversity tests.

Episode 4 passed the Bechdel test because of the couple of times that named women talked to each other in episode 4, there were three instances where men were not mentioned (e.g., Yi-Ryung talked to the younger version of herself about herself and Yi-Ryung and Kong-Sil talked to each other on two separate occasions about each other). Episode 4 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because while there was one White woman in the episode, the rest of the cast was Asian and only non-White individuals ever talked and White people were never mentioned by any of the characters so every conversation that occurred in episode 4 involved non-White individuals talking to each other without mentioning White people.

*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.