Florence Pugh is very much a star on the rise. 2019 brought us two amazing performances from her in the horror movie Midsommar and as Amy March in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, which garnered her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She’ll also appear in her first Marvel film, Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow, when it’s released (hopefully) later this year after its original May date was pushed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She also happens to be dating Zach Braff (of Scrubs and Garden State fame), which has stirred up some controversy online. Earlier this week, Pugh (who is 24) posted an Instagram post celebrating her boyfriend’s 45th 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!” she wrote alongside a photo of Braff napping. Very quickly, the comments section flooded with lots of nasty comments about Braff and the couple’s age difference, causing Pugh to disable them.
On April 8, she posted a video letting everyone know how upsetting the experience was for her and made it clear she would not tolerate this type of behavior from fans. “Within about eight minutes of the photo being posted, I had about 70% of the comments hurling abuse, being horrid, and basically bullying someone on my page,” she said.
She continued, “I will not allow that behavior on my page. I’m not about that. It makes me upset. It makes me sad that during this time when we really all 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 for no reason.”
Pugh emphatically stated that who she chooses to date is nobody’s business but her own. “I’m 24 years old. I have been working since I was 17 years old. I have been earning money since I was 17 years old,” she said. “I became an adult when I was 18 years old and I started paying taxes when I was 18 years old. I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love, and I would never in my life ever, ever tell someone who they can and cannot love. It is not your place. It has nothing to do with you.”
She added, “The abuse that you throw at him is abuse that you’re throwing at me, and I don’t want those followers … I don’t want that on my page. It’s embarrassing, it’s sad and I don’t know when cyber bullying became trendy.”
Watch Florence Pugh’s entire video, above.