The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Scream Queens, “Warts and All”- Season 2, Episode 2

Chanel #5 found love on Scream Queens, “Warts and All” and began dating a patient but her love was short lived because as soon as they began to date, the Green Meanie killed off her boyfriend.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Warts and All” passed the Bechdel test but it did not pass the Russo or race test.

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Munsch and the gang visit Hester to get some advice on the Green Meanie.

There were several named women in “Warts and All” and there were a couple of instances where some of these women talked to each other. Out of the times that named women talked to each other in “Warts and All,” there was a time or two where men were not mentioned (e.g., Munsch asked Zayday about a restaurant) so the episode thus met all of the requirements of the Bechdel and passed this particular diversity test. However, while “Warts and All” managed to pass this one diversity test, it did not pass others like the Russo or race test.

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The Green Meanie murders Chanel #5’s boyfriend.

“Warts and All” did not pass the Russo test because while there was indeed a LGBTI character (Chanel #3) in the episode and she wasn’t solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was also defined as being a friend), her removal from “Warts and All” would not have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., her removal would not have affected the plot because she was barely in “Warts and All” and she didn’t have anything to do with the plot of the episode).

As to why “Warts and All” did not pass the race test, while there were a couple of non-White individuals in the episode and there were occasions where non-White individuals talked to each other, whenever non-White individuals talked to each other, White people were always directly or indirectly referenced.

*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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