The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 7

On the seventh episode of The Master’s Sun, Gwi-Do was out sick for the day so Kong-Sil worked in his stead, and in that same episode, Kong-Sil encountered a doll that housed dead children and that lured living children into its clutches.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 7 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Kong-Sil caresses Joong-Won and asks if he feels nothing.

With the exception of one person, the entire cast of episode 7 was non-White and because there were many instances where non-White actors talked to each other without mentioning White people (in fact, almost every single conversation that occurred involved only non-White individuals talking to each other without mentioning White people), the episode passed the race test. The episode did not, however, pass the Bechdel test.

Episode 7 did not pass the Bechdel test because the few times that women talked to each other in episode 7, the women either didn’t have names or they mentioned men. Episode 7 also failed to pass the race test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 7.

*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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