The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Season 1, Episode 12

Hae-Soo was demoted to water maiden on Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, episode 12, and while So didn’t care about her new status and he still wished to be with her, she pushed him away for both her and his own good.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 12 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Hae-Soo chats with her dancer friend.

The entire cast of episode 12 was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White individuals. There were thus many instances in episode 12 where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White and the episode, consequently, passed the race test.

As to how episode 12 fared when it came to other diversity tests like the Bechdel, there were a few named women in the episode, and while there was a time or two where some of these women talked to each other, episode 12 did not pass the Bechdel test. Why didn’t the episode pass the Bechdel test? Because every time named women talked to each other, they mentioned men.

In regards to the Russo test, episode 12 also failed to pass this diversity test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 12.

*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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