Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 2, specifically for new characters Max and Billy.
Stranger Things was finally released this past weekend, after leaving fans anxiously waiting for over a year. The show's second season was certainly a triumph, with The Duffer Brothers crafting a touching and terrifying adventure with the characters introduced last year. But there were also a handful of exciting new characters introduced, including step siblings Max (Sadie Sink) and Billy (Dacre Montgomery). The latter was a major antagonist this season, and also came off borderline racist at points, as he took a major issue with Max's relationship with Lucas. Now the actor has shut that theory down, although he apparently thought that Billy might be intolerant at first too.
When I first started reading the description between Billy and Lucas, I was like, 'Oh, you know, he's a racist dick'. I think he feels threatened. Like I said, these male figures in his life, whether it's Lucas, Steve (Joe Keery), his dad (Will Chase), whoever these different characters that embody his world are ... if Max is that one constant, he knows he needs to drop off and look after [her]. If any of these characters object with that person and his relationship with that person, it's a threatened kind of behavior. It's that animalistic side of like, 'You're threatening my sibling, my world. What are you doing? Who is this boy who's trying to weave his way into my life through my sister?'.
According to Dacre Montgomery's comments to Huffington Post, he doesn't believe Billy's problems with Lucas are racially motivated. Instead, it stems from his strained relationship to any strong male in his life. The cause of Billy's anger seems to come from his awful relationship with his father (Nashville's Will Chase), who is verbally and physically abusive with the newcomer. Billy then takes it out on anyone who attempts to stand up to him, including Steve, Lucas, and his sister. Maybe all that hair gel has gone to his brain.
Out of all the new characters introduced in Stranger Things 2, Billy was probably the only one who fans will end the season unhappy with. Max's brother terrorized her the entire season, and never really grew or became a better person, and Max finally stood up to her stepbrother and scared the shit out of him in the finale. He also never got to learn the various secrets of Hawkins, so he's among the few main cast members that remains ignorant of the truth-- alongside Mrs. Wheeler and the other parents.
But this may change in the next season or two of Stranger Things. With the shadow monster proving to be a long lasting threat in the series, the other characters may not be able to make it through the rest of the series without finding out the truth.