The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Season 1, Episode 4

On Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, episode 4, Hae-Soo and So came to terms with one another, and they even, dare I say it, became friendly. How did this new development occur? Well, Hae-Soo just so happened to encounter So during a moment of need (i.e., his mother rejected him even though he had just killed for her) and because she offered him the care and kindness that he so sorely needed and craved in that moment, So began to see Hae-Soo in a different light. So thus began their new friendship.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 4 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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When Yeon-Hwa has Hae-Soo whipped, Eun defends her (Hae-Soo).

 

Episode 4 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this diversity test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 4. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

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So messes with Hae-Soo.

In episode 4, there were a couple of named women and there were a few instances where some of these women talked to each other. Episode 4 passed the Bechdel test, because out of the couple of times that named women talked to each other, there was a single instance where men were not mentioned (e.g., Hae asked Hae-Soo to leave her chambers).

As to race test, episode 4 passed this particular diversity test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White individuals.

*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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