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The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Oh My Ghostess - Season 1, Episode 5
In Oh My Ghostess, episode 5, Bong-sun reclaimed her body and learned that a whole slew of events had occurred while she had been possessed, including that she was now homeless. Luckily, though, Sun-woo offered Bong-sun a place to stay so once Bong-sun moved into the restaurant she set about figuring out what had happened while she had been possessed.
The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test
Episode 5 passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.
Episode 5 passed the Bechdel test, and the episode passed this test because there were two instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Bong-sun and Soon-ae talked to each other on two separate instances about how Soon-ae had possessed Bong-sun). The episode also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because while some of the actors were White, the majority of the cast of episode 5 were Asian and there were plenty of instances where the Asian actors talked to each other without mentioning White people.
As to the Russo test, episode 5 did not pass this test because 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 by her intersex status
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. 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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