Last week I wrote about the Bechdel test, which asks a few basic questions about any given movie to begin evaluating feminine roles in film.
Women, however, aren’t the only underrepresented and compartmentalized group in the mainstream American film industry. While modern laws prevent discrimination in workplaces and schools based on age, race/national origin/ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, and disability, these traits are often generalized, overlooked, or denigrated in television and movies.
The Bechdel test has started the conversation about under- and misrepresentation of women in the media, but we need to develop a test to discuss the roles that other groups that TV and movies relegate to one-dimensional characters. For women, we ask if there are two or more named women who talk to each other about something besides a man. What basic questions should we ask about people of color, LGBT people, and people with disabilities?
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