The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Season 1, Episode 10

Life at the palace became ever more dangerous for Hae-Soo on Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, episode 10. Why? Because So took her outside of the palace without permission and Queen Yoo set her up for the poisoning of the Crown Prince.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 10 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Wook and Jung tell So to take Hae-Soo immediately back to the palace before anyone notices that she’s missing.

The entire cast of episode 10 was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned anyone White. There were thus many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White individuals so episode 10 easily passed the race test. However, while the episode managed to pass this one diversity test, it did not pass others like the Bechdel and Russo.

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Wook proposes to Hae-Soo.

Episode 10 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were a few named women in the episode and there were indeed instances where some of these women talked to each other, men were always inevitably brought up whenever named women talked to each other.

As to why episode 10 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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