The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 9

On the ninth episode of The Master’s Sun, Kang-Woo discovered that Kong-Sil can see ghosts and Kong-Sil was possessed by the wife of a selfish, demanding pianist.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 9 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Louis Jang, a self-absorbed pianist, remembers his late wife.

Episode 9 passed the race test, and the episode easily passed this test because the entire cast (except for one and she may or may not be White) was Asian and the characters rarely (and perhaps never) mentioned White people so there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people. As to the Bechdel and Russo test, episode 9 did not pass either of these tests.

Named women talked to each other once or twice in episode 9, but because men were always mentioned in their conversations, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. Episode 9 did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI 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.

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