Billy Zabka, the Movies’ Biggest Bully, Takes a Strong Anti-Bullying Stance
If you watched any 80s movies ever, you surely know Billy Zabka, the character actor tasked with bringing that decade’s meanest jerks to life. He was a bully in The Karate Kid, a bully in Just One of the Guys, a bully in Back to School and Audrey’s jerk boyfriend in National Lampoon’s European Adventure. But now, Billy “William” Zabka has come — gasp — against bullying?
Yes, it’s almost as if he was just an actor playing a jerk in the movies and not really a jerk in real life. Zabka, who was, I s–- you not, nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, actually seems to be a pretty nice guy. Case in point: over the weekend he was the keynote speaker at an Anti-Bullying Day and said to all those kids who thought Johnny Lawrence was a really cool guy, Johnny Lawrence wasn’t cool at all.
“Bullying is never cool … not when you can be the hero in your own story,” Zabka told the crowd. Zabka did not address this video which claimed that Daniel La Russo was the real bully and that Johnny was actually the hero in his own story.
I’m not sure anyone watched The Karate Kid or Back to School and aspired to be more like Zabka’s characters (though those fingerless leather gloves were pretty dope), but it’s an important message to get across regardless. Bullying isn’t cool, so learn karate, hang out with an old dude, kick your bully in the face and run off with his girlfriend. At least I think that was the message.
You can watch Zabka’s full speech above.