The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Season 1, Episode 3

So unveiled the culprits behind the attempted assignation of the Crown Prince on Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, episode 3, and Hae-Soo grew ever closer to her “aunt” and “uncle-in-law.”

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

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Wook talks So down from hurting Hae-Soo.

The entire cast of episode 3 was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White individuals. As such, there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White so the episode easily passed the race test. However, while episode 3 managed to pass this single diversity test, it failed to pass other tests like the Bechdel and Russo.

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So kills some of the men responsible for Moo’s almost assassination. 

There were a couple of named women in episode 3, and while there were a few instances where some of these women talked to each other, the episode ultimately failed to pass the Bechdel test because men were always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other.

As to why episode 3 did not pass the Russo test, 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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