After receiving intense backlash about her relationship with Zach Braff on social media, Florence Pugh implored fans to stop spreading “hate” in a new Instagram video.
Pugh and Braff have reportedly been dating since at least 2019, around the time they worked together on Braff’s short film In the Time It Takes to Get There from that year. The couple went Instagram official this week when Pugh, the star of Midsommar and Little Women, posted a sweet message to her boyfriend for his birthday.
“Today we shall smile wider than the clouds are grey. April 6th and we’re celebrating hard! Happy Birthday wishes, boogies and cheers for this special person. Raise those bubbles and jiggle!” Pugh wrote in the caption of a photo of Braff snuggling with her dog.
Not long after the picture went up, some fans criticized the pair's relationship, with some pointing to their age difference. (Pugh is 24, and Braff is 45.) Pugh turned off the commenting feature on the post. On Wednesday, she explained why.
“I have never been an Instagram page that encourages [bullying.] I have never been an Instagram page that likes that toxic vibe...I will not allow that behavior on my page. I am not about that. It makes me upset. It makes me sad, that during this time, when all really need to be together, we need to be supporting one another, we need to be loving one another. The world is aching and the world is dying, and a few of you decided to bully.”
“I am 24 years old. I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love, and never in my life would tell someone who they can and can not love,” Pugh said. “It is not your place and really has nothing to do with you.”
Check out the rest of the video below:
Refinery29 reached out to Braff and Pugh for comment.