Florence Pugh, 24, won’t stand for cyber bullying and age shaming. The Little Women star broke her silence after negative comments attacking the 21-year age difference between Florence and her boyfriend, Zach Braff, flooded the comments section of her Instagram birthday tribute for Zach on April 6. The Scrubs star turned 45, making him two decades older than Florence.
“Within about eight minutes of the photo being posted, I had about 70 percent of the comments hurling abuse and being horrid and basically bullying someone on my page,” Florence, who was visibly upset, revealed in an Instagram video uploaded on April 8. The backlash was so bad, Florence had to stop it all together! “It is the first time in my entire Instagram life that I have had to turn off the comments on my page,” she continued. “I have never been an Instagram page that encourages that. I have never been an Instagram page that likes that toxic vibe.”
Florence will no longer stand for hateful comments, especially amid the coronavirus outbreak. “I will not allow that behavior on my page. I’m not about that. It makes me upset,” she continued. “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.”
Florence won’t tolerate being patronized, either! “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. I became an adult when I was 18-years-old and I started paying taxes when I was 18-years-old,” she reminded fans in the video. “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.”
Towards the end of the video, Florence made an excellent point: “The abuse that you throw at him is abuse that you’re throwing at me, and I don’t want those followers.” You can watch the actress’s full video above. In the original birthday shout-out that was attacked, Florence had written, “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!”
Zach cast Florence as the lead in his 2019 short film In The Time It Takes to Get There, and they started dating that same year! Florence and Zach are now quarantining and fostering a puppy together.