'Little Women' star Florence Pugh slams critics of 21-year age gap with boyfriend Zach Braff

“It makes me sad,” the actress said of the unkind comments about their relationship.
Florence Pugh responds to the “toxic vibe” of those who have a problem with the 21-year age difference between her and boyfriend Zach Braff.
Florence Pugh responds to the “toxic vibe” of those who have a problem with the 21-year age difference between her and boyfriend Zach Braff.Getty Images

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

Florence Pugh has a blunt message for those who have a problem with her romance with Zach Braff: “It is not your place, and really, it has nothing to do with you.”

That’s just part of what the actress had to say in a video she posted to Instagram in which she took vocal critics of the couple’s 21-year age gap to task — in no uncertain terms.

“I’ve been wrestling with the idea for the past few days about whether I should do this video, and then finally, last night, I thought, ‘Well, for my own peace of mind, I should,’” she said as she began her message Wednesday.

On Monday, the “Little Women” star posted a photo of her boyfriend in honor of his 45th birthday. But many of the comments that followed the sweet post, which featured the former “Scrubs” star cuddling their shared foster dog, didn’t wish him well on his big day.

Instead, they focused on his age as it compared to hers.

“It is the first time in my entire Instagram life that I have had to turn off the comments on my page,” she explained, noting that “70 percent of the comments” were “hurling abuse and being horrid” and simply creating a “toxic vibe.”

“I will not allow that behavior on my page,” Pugh insisted. “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 — a few of you decided to bully for no reason.”

Though Braff and Pugh have kept the details of their relationship private, it’s believed that the two began dating nearly a year ago. Since then they’ve each made random appearances or brief mentions on the other’s social media pages.

But it was only after her most recent post about the actor that critics piled on in her comments, razzing the couple over their age gap and putting blame on Braff as the older partner.

“I’m 24 years old,” Pugh informed her followers. “I have been working since I was 17 years old. I’ve 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. I’ll underline this fact: I am 24 years old.”

In other words, she feels fully capable of making decisions — romantic or otherwise — for herself.

“I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love,” she said.

In the caption that accompanied the clip, she reminded everyone that “being hateful is not trendy.”

Florence Pugh on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Jordan Strauss / AP

That message seemed to resonate with her fans — even the most famous ones.

“‘Being hateful is not trendy’ a new tattoo for my chest,” wrote singer Ariana Grande. “Oh I love and appreciate you so much.”

“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan added, “Gorgeously said. Cheers to that and to you beautiful lady (inside and out!). I’m such an admirer how you use your page and your voice.”

Maisie Williams, of “Game of Thrones” fame, simply replied with an encouraging, “Get ittttt!”

And for the ones who didn’t get what Pugh tried to convey in her video, the recent Oscar nominee included simple instructions.

“Please, unfollow me,” she said in the clip. “Because the abuse that you throw at (Zach) is abuse that you’re throwing at me, and I don’t want those followers.”