The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Season 1, Episode 13

On Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, episode 13, the King died, and while Yo and Wook did their best to seize the newly vacated throne, their efforts were ultimately thwarted by Hae-Soo and So who were completely loyal to the Crown Prince.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 13 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Episode 13 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned anyone White. The episode did not, however, pass other diversity tests like the Bechdel and Russo.

Episode 13 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were a few named women in the episode and there were a couple of instances where some of these women talked to each other, men were always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other.

As to why episode 13 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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