In the new Ghostbusters movie, there is a scene where two characters jump in a crowd.
The first character gets lifted by the audience, and the second character, Patty, tries it too and lands on the floor:

Patty falling to the floor

After she falls, she asks if it's "a race thing or a lady thing", but I couldn't understand this scene myself.

Since the film is seen by many people as trying to be progressive in its depiction of strong female characters, I cannot see why they would place a scene that seems to make fun of a character's race, or that would treat a character differently because of her skin color and make a joke from it.

  • I can't see that it makes fun of her race, quite the opposite in fact.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 29, 2016 at 15:06
  • Why? The white woman doesnt hurt herself but the black woman does - because people wouldn't carry her because she's black. Are tou saying that the makers intended the scene to be dramatic? Some people laughed at this Jul 29, 2016 at 15:08
  • 4
    She doesn't hurt herself, the audience does. That what she's asking...she wants to know why they treat her different. As to why the producers thought it might be funny, you'd have to ask them. While you're at it, ask why the black Ghostbuster isn't a scientist but instead is the "street" one.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 29, 2016 at 15:11
  • There's a difference between pointing out racism and/or sexism, and actually being racist and/or sexist. Saying that, I think the movie does suffer a bit from both. Jul 29, 2016 at 15:51
  • The fact that it's presented as a gag makes it feel racist (and let's not forget the delivery guy). If it had been shot in a dramatic way to encourage the spectator to feel empathy for her when she falls, or if a character had felt for her, or stood up for her, or if there had been an explanation it could have been a little better... Hence my question "why does the audience do it". Jul 29, 2016 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in several places, e.g. here, Patty's character is limited to a stereotype: "street-savvy black woman", throughout the whole movie.

I think this crowd "incident" is yet another way to emphasise the stereotype.

In my opinion, the whole point of this is to show us that with all those obstacles, and even though people are racist, Patty still helps them, and is saving the world. Unlike Rowan, who took this to exactly the opposite direction: "they hate me, so I'll kill them all."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .