The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Let’s Fight, Ghost – Season 1, Episode 1

In the first episode of Let’s Fight, Ghost, Bong-Pal, a college student who has the ability to see ghosts, fought a school girl ghost in an effort to earn some cash. His efforts, however, backfired in a major way and instead of defeating the ghost, Bong-Pal wound up not only getting his ass handed to him but his pride and back account suffered a major blow as well.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 1 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Bong-Pal takes a look at his check book.

The entire cast of episode 1 and because none of the characters ever mentioned White people, the episode easily passed the race test as there were numerous instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people. As to the Bechdel and Russo test, episode 1 did not pass either of these diversity tests.

Episode 1 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were indeed named women in the episode and there were occasions where some of these women talked to each other, men were always mentioned whenever two or more named women talked to each other. The episode did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 1.

*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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