After receiving immediate backlash on an Instagram post about her boyfriend Zach Braff, Florence Pugh slammed fans for spreading “hate” in a video.
The actress posted a sweet birthday message for Braff on Monday — the first time she’s shared his photo since the couple started dating.
“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 in the caption of a photo of Braff cuddled up with her dog.
Pugh explained why the cheery mood expressed in her caption didn’t last long.
“Within about eight minutes of the photo being posted, I had about 70 percent of the comments hurling abuse, being horrid, and basically bullying someone on my page,” she said in an Instagram video.
Pugh said she wouldn’t allow that kind of behavior on her 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,” she said. “The world is aching and the world is dying, and a few of you decided to bully for no reason.”
She defended her right to date whoever she chooses, saying she has been an adult since she turned 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 continued.
The actress delivered a powerful final statement before signing off.
“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 cyberbullying became trendy,” she said.
Pugh’s celebrity friends flooded the comment section of her video with support.
“‘Being hateful is not trendy,'” Ariana Grande wrote. “A new tattoo for my chest.”
“My partner is 22 years my senior and we have been together almost 7 years,” model Stefania Ferrario wrote. “Love is a diverse beautiful thing and I hope more people open their minds up a little more.”
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