The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 14

On The Master’s Sun, episode 14, Kong-Sil began her new job as Madame Go’s minion, and Joong-Won searched for his lost memories.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 14 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Joong-Won catches Kong-Sil trying to throw away her sunburst necklace.

In episode 14, the entire cast was Asian and because none of the characters ever mentioned White people, every conversation that occurred in the episode passed the race test. As to the Bechdel and Russo test, episode 14 did not pass either of these diversity tests.

Episode 14 did not pass the Bechdel test because while named women talked to each other a couple of times in episode 14, men were always directly or indirectly referenced in their conversations. The episode did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 14.

*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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