SNL’s Bowen Yang jokes about Fire Island ‘failing the Bechdel Test’

Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang has responded to criticism of his newest movie Fire Island, after it was claimed it failed the Bechdel Test.

Hulu’s new LGBTQ+ spin on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, stars Yang, Joel Kim Booster and Conrad Ricamora, and is about a group of queer friends who gather for a week of love and fun in the hamlet of Fire Island Pines, New York. However, their friendship is jeopardised by a sudden change of events.

The Bechdel Test is used to measure the representation of women in a work of fiction and consists of three criteria: It must contain at least two women, they must interact with each other, and their conversation must be about something other than a man.

In a tweet shared on Monday (6 June), reporter Hanna Rosin called out the film for receiving what she considered an “F- on the Bechdel Test”.

“Do we just ignore the drab lesbian stereotypes bc cute gay Asian boys? Is this revenge for all those years of the gay boy best friend?” Rosin questioned.

Now, Yang has made a joke about the movie’s failure to pass the test with an Instagram post of him with former pornographic actor Robin Byrd, accompanied by the caption: “F- on the bechdel test.”

Many fans argued against Rosin’s tweet, particularly taking issue with her mention of Asian men. One user wrote: “For the love… just let the gay Asian men have their moment.”

“Surely you’re aware that gay Asian men are rarely/never centred this way,” another wrote.

Bowen Yang and Robin Byrd (Bowen Yang Instagram/screenshot)
Bowen Yang and Robin Byrd (Bowen Yang Instagram/screenshot)

In a recent interview with The Independent, Matt Rogers – who plays Luke in the film – said: “There are still a lot of people out there who think ‘gay person’ and they see a very specific image in their mind and it’s an antiquated, whitewashed image of what a gay person is.

“Our community is so not monolithic – it’s very vast and it’s extremely diverse.”

Fire Island is available to stream on Hulu in the US and Disney+ Star channel in the UK.