The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: How to Get Away with Murder, “Anna Mae” – Season 2, Episode 15

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - "Anna Mae" - With chaos surrounding Annalise, she just can't stand the pressure anymore and needs to escape. Meanwhile, Frank must come to terms with the things he has done while Wes continues to get closer to finding out about his past, on the season finale of "How to Get Away with Murder," THURSDAY, MARCH 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network.(ABC/Mitch Haaseth) CICELY TYSON, VIOLA DAVIS

There was an arrest warrant for Annalise on How to Get Away with Murder, “Anna Mae,” but instead of dealing with the warrant, Annalise spent time at her mother’s house and hid from the world.

 The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Anna Mae” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

alfred-enoch-wes-how-to-get-away-with-murder-abc
Wes tracks down and confronts his father.

The named women in “Anna Mae” (of which there were several) talked to each other several times, and the episode passed the Bechdel test because out of those several occasions, there were a couple of instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men.

“Anna Mae” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because there were four LGBTI characters in “Anna Mae” (Annalise, Eve, Connor and Oliver) and they were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Annalise and Eve were also defined as being lawyers, Connor was defined as being a law student and Oliver was defined as being an IT) and their removals from “Anna Mae” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as they played important parts in the plot.

“Anna Mae” passed the race test as well, and the episode passed this test because there were several instances where non-White individuals (of which there were several in “Anna Mae”) talked 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.

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