The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Accountant

In The Accountant, Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, a shady freelance accountant who works for just about anybody and everybody, be they a small time farmer or a big time crime lord. Wolff’s lack of discretion when it comes to choosing clients, of course, eventually lands him in trouble and he, and another accountant (Dana Cummings [Anna Kendrick]), thus wind up on the run, evading contract killers who are determined to keep their mouths shut.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

The Accountant does not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Dana Cummings, an accountant who noticed some strange numbers in a robotics corporation’s accounting books, attempts to befriend Christian Wolff, an accountant who has been brought in to further examine the odd discrepancies in the corporation’s books.

The cast of The Accountant is primarily male and White. However, despite how few women and non-White individuals that are in the film, there are some occasions where women and non-White individuals, respectively, talk to each other. So does The Accountant pass the Bechdel and race test? Well, no.

The Accountant
Wolff tackles the robotics corporation’s accounting books in one night.

In the case of the Bechdel test, The Accountant does not pass this diversity test because while there are a few named women in the film and there are occasions where a named woman talks to another named woman, named women never exchange words. To be more specific, whenever named women “speak to each other,” only one of the named women actually speaks while the other named woman stays silent and only listens.

As to why The Accountant does not pass the race test, on the few occasions that non-White individuals talk to each other, someone White is always referenced.

The Accountant
Wolff tracks down one of the contract killers who are after him and Cummings.

The Accountant also fails to pass the Russo test, and the film does not pass this diversity test because there are no LGBTI characters in The Accountant.

*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 film 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 film 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 film. 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 film.

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