The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cinderella and Four Knights – Season 1, Episode 3

Ha-Won moved into the Sky House on Cinderella and Four Knights, episode 3. Predictably, as soon as Ha-Won moved in, she met resistance from her new roommates, but their insensitivity and cruelty did not dissuade her. Instead, Ha-Won buckled down and prepared for the worst.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 3 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

Cinderella-and-Four-Knights-3.3
Ha-Won recalls the truth behind her lineage.

Episode 3 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 3. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

There were a couple of named women in episode 3 and while these women didn’t talk to each other very often, there was one instance where two of these named women talked to each other and they did so without mentioning men (Yoo-Na grilled Ja-Young about Ha-Won’s whereabouts). Episode 3 thus met all of the Bechdel test’s requirements and passed the Bechdel.

As to how episode 3 passed the race test, the entire cast of episode 3 was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned anyone White so there were numerous instances where non-White individuals 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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