Florence Pugh will not have haters on her Instagram page.
The Little Women actress posted a video Wednesday giving that message to fans, explaining that she found responses to a post she made on Monday for boyfriend Zach Braff’s birthday unacceptable.
Pugh had turned off the comments by then, but she had disapproved of most of them.
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“Within about eight minutes of the photo being posted,” Pugh said, “I had about 70 percent of the comments hurling abuse and being horrid and basically bullying someone on my page. It is the first time in my entire Instagram life that I have had to turn off the comments on my page. I have never been an Instagram page that encourages that. I have never been an Instagram page that likes that toxic vibe.”
Pugh, who has 1.3 million followers, said it’s always been her intention to “bring some light” and try to “make people smile” with the content she shares.
The 24-year-old actress was first linked to Braff, 45, about a year ago. She spoke out about Braff in December, after someone replied to his comment on one of Pugh’s photos by pointing out his age. “You’re 44 years old,” the person said. “And yet he got it ??” Pugh replied.
In her video, she said that the comments on her birthday tribute made her “upset.”
“It makes me sad that during this time when we really all need to be together, we need to be supportive of 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… to bully, for no reason,” Pugh said.
She reminded people of her age.
“I’m 24 years old. I have been working since I was 17 years old,” Pugh noted. “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. I’ll underline this fact: I am 24 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 anyone who they can and cannot love. It is not your place, and really it has nothing to do with you.”
Pugh explained that people who couldn’t agree with those guidelines should unfollow her because abuse toward Braff is abuse toward her.
“I don’t want to have to be protecting, you know, my comments every time I post a picture of him,” she said.
She called the negative comments “embarrassing” and “sad.”
The birthday post was Pugh’s first acknowledgement of her relationship with the former Scrubs actor.