Joy Sunday is an American actress who you might have seen initially in supporting roles in My Hair Wants to Kill, The Fit, and Lulu & Briggs. More recently, she appeared in the TV series Dear White People. Well, despite the fact that she had already been working in the world of cinema and television, she had not yet managed to achieve international recognition. But Joy Sunday’s casting as Bianca in Tim Burton’s Netflix hit has launched the actress to a new level in her career. But the native of New York faced a great challenge when interpreting a role so different from what she had been doing – people associate a tinge of racism with her role as Bianca Barclay, the “bad girl” of Nevermore, and an early enemy of Wednesday Addams.
Who Is Joy Sunday? Check Out These Interesting Facts Surrounding Her Controversy!
Joy Sunday’s childhood and education:
Sunday was born in Staten Island, New York to a Nigerian family. A true NewYorker, she studied theater at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in New York City and then went on to study at USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, earning a degree in critical studies.
Early career of Joy Sunday shows her mission:
In addition to her academia, she worked as a director at the Tribeca Film Institute, directing several short films.
But it was in the year 2018 that she made her television debut in an episode of New Agent MacGyver.
Continued career in supporting roles:
She joined the Screen Actors Guild in 2020 with a role in My Hair Wants to Kill.
Joy had a minor role as Sophia in the 2020 film The Inclusion and also appeared in one of the episodes of the Netflix series Dear White People.
This was followed by minor roles in the films Beta Test and Lulu & Briggs.
Hitting it big with the Bianca Barclay role in Wednesday:
Sunday’s most famous work was the role of the siren Bianca Barclay in the 2022 Netflix series Wednesday, directed by Tim Burton. Since its release in November 2022, Wednesday has been a hit on Netflix.
Not only does the Tim Burton show crack all records, even becoming the second most watched series on the platform, but it also has its share of controversies.
“I really loved the fact that I was auditioning to play this mean girl character. There really aren’t that many examples of black bad girl characters and I thought it was an opportunity to soften and expand on something I’m very familiar with for a lot of audiences, ” the actress confessed.
Having said that, Joy Sunday was accused of racism:
Joy Sunday, who plays Bianca, and is already 27-year-old is on the contrary representative of debate. Does having a black villain written in a show cause accusations of racism against the series? Only if it is a misinterpretation of the public, even if the question deserves to be asked.
Despite the great success on Netflix, the Wednesday series is at the heart of a controversy over one of its main characters. According to some viewers, the Wednesday movie script shows racism by representing black protagonists as bad guys, specifically Bianca, a comrade from Wednesday to Nevermore, and described as the queen bee.
Joy Sunday said that Bianca Barclay will celebrate black beauty:
“I learned to love myself”, said the actress who was proud and grateful that her character reflects a positive image.
She says that the character of Bianca Barclay, presented as the archetype of the villain and a popular student, competitor, jealous, devious and rival of Wednesday, was misunderstood.
For the actress, the character of Bianca conveys a good image to young girls. “A lot of people, especially black women and girls, have reached out to me to tell me what they love about Bianca: it’s the fact that I’m dark-skinned and have those features that I love and ‘we don’t usually see people associated with short hair.”
On a personal level, the role also benefited her by teaching her “to love herself and her skin color”. “For quite a long time, I didn’t necessarily have that outside validation,” the actress explained. She nevertheless said she was delighted with this kind of debate for the progress it could bring. “I still think there’s room for improvement for any type of character, for any character of color, for any gay character”.
Racism and the blurred lines of conspicuous scripts for black villains:
While some viewers accuse the “Wednesday” series of racism, due to the representation of black characters as antagonists, actress Joy Sunday, who plays Bianca on screen, feels the exact opposite!
It is interesting to note that despite the show being accused of queerbaiting and homophobia, the production was also accused of being racist, with audiences criticizing it for its lack of diversity and its narrow “black-and-white” portrayal of black characters, the actress clapped back by saying: “I think people were mostly reacting to the fact that they saw a confident, self-assured black woman take on someone they’re supposed to be cheering on and they didn’t quite figure out what to do with it.
According to her, beyond the role of the villain, the character of Bianca especially offers black girls a fine example of strength and courage on screen. “Bianca is honestly emblematic of a lot of things black women can experience in life,” the young woman assured. “And so, at the end of the day, I appreciate people talking about it, and I honestly hope that continues,” actress Joy Sunday stated as she stood firm.
But we must notice Joy Sunday’s amazing physical change:
Joy Sunday is one of the new emerging faces of the show, who has already left her role behind and today she looks really different. Many people Google if she really has the penetrating blue color of her eyes. They are so clear and out of the ordinary that they not only stand out because of the intense eyeliner with which she usually appears in some of the scenes, but also because of her skin color.
This very particular feature that is impossible not to notice, which many viewers believed was a natural aspect of the actress,showed the reality: it was contact lenses. Today, we see her wearing her brown tone with well-marked eyelashes and very trendy makeup that usually accompanies her different looks.
A great physical change after seeing the purple and black striped suit to make way for fashion pieces on Wednesday. Although it is not yet known what Joy Sunday’s next project will be, we will surely continue to see her on the screen.