Scroll To Top

Fire Island Passes the Bechdel Test—Alison Bechdel Said So Herself

Fire Island Passes the Bechdel Test—Alison Bechdel Said So Herself

Fire Island

No “F-” for Fire Island.

Created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the Bechdel test measures a work of art based on whether it features "at least two women who talk to each other about something besides a man."

This week, New York Magazine's audioeditorial director Hanna Rosin shared a since-deleted tweet about Hulu's Fire Island failing to pass the Bechdel test:

"So [Fire Island] gets an F- on the Bechdel test in a whole new way. Do we just ignore the drab lesbian stereotypes [because of] cute gay Asian boys? Is this the revenge for all those years of the gay boy best friend?"

Subsequently, Rosin addressed why she deleted her original tweet after a wave of posts criticized her assessment of the film in regard to the Bechdel test.

"I deleted a tweet that many of you rightly pointed out was offensive. I've read your responses and I hear you. My tweet was careless and thoughtless. Truly. The movie was telling a story about queer AAPI men, whose experiences don't show up enough in movies or anywhere else."

A few hours after Rosin's retraction, none other than Alison Bechdel herself commented on the online discourse surrounding Fire Island within the Bechdel test scale.

Bechdel wrote:

"Okay, I just added a corollary to the Bechdel test: Two men talking to each other about the female protagonist of an Alice Munro story in a screenplay structured on a Jane Austen novel = pass."

For context, the story of Hulu's Fire Island was inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel, which is what Bechdel was referring to in the latter part of her tweet. Within that analysis, Bechdel brought up a scene where Joel Kim Booster's Noah (a character inspired by Lizzie Bennet) and Conrad Ricamora's Will (a character inspired by Mr. Darcy) discuss their favorite works by Alice Munro.

In Bechdel's opinion, these very significant pieces of context are reasons enough for Fire Island to pass the Bechdel test. One would be remiss not to also mention the major cultural significance of a studio film featuring four Asian-American protagonists who happen to be queer, which Rosin subsequently acknowledged in her retraction.

Between Rosin backtracking on her original criticism and Bechdel herself giving her stamp of approval on Fire Island, it certainly feels like this case is now closed.

Fire Island is now streaming on Hulu.

RELATED | How Fire Island Brought Sexy, Messy, Gay Asian Stories to Life

AdvocateChannel promoOut Magazine - Fellow Travelers

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories