Acclaimed actress Florence Pugh has hit back at detractors of her relationship with Zac Braff, saying the only reason they don't like it is because it's "not who they expected."
In an interview with The Times, twenty-four-year-old Pugh opened up about her relationship with forty-six-year-old Zac Braff, who she has been dating for a few years.
Pugh explained when she posted a rare picture of them together this year, which happened to be for Braff's forty-sixth birthday, the image was tenaciously bombarded with a torrent of horrible comments. Most of these were focused on their age gap, with Braff being twenty-one years her senior.
"It's so weird to me to go on to someone's page and sh** on it," she protested. "That's so not my nature — to go and bully for the sake of bullying. It's such an odd thing that we've become OK with in the past ten years of social media. The thing is, people want Instagram to be a nicer place, they want to see nice things. They want to be inspired and they want to be happy. I don't mind you not liking me, that's absolutely fine. In which case don't follow me."
"I think it bugs people that it's not who they expected," she added. She elucidated that she feels people expect her to be with the likes of Timothée Chalamet, who played Theodore 'Laurie' Lawrence in Little Women in 2019.
"But it's my life and I'm not doing anything to please people or to make it a better headline or story. I want to also be a person!" She said.
Speaking to Sue Perkins on the 'An Hour or So With…' podcast, Pugh said women's lives are "completely devoured" by the public the moment they get famous at a level of scrutiny that isn't given to men.
"Women's lives, the moment they get in that spotlight, is being completely devoured by people," she said. "It's totally allowed because for some reason the public feels like it's their right to know stuff about them."
"But the same attention to detail doesn't happen to men," she added. "I've always found that really interesting, and how you're supposed to just put up with it."
Back in April, she posted a video responding to the hate she receives for her relationship with Braff: "I'm twenty-four years old. I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love. It is not your place and really it has nothing to do with you."
In an interview with Elle, she later added to her point of view. "People have no right to educate me on my private life, I know that part of being in the spotlight is that people might invade your privacy and have opinions on it, but it's bizarre that normal folk are allowed to display such hate and opinions on a part of my life that I'm not putting out there."
As a result, Pugh doesn't have Twitter and rarely posts about her relationship online much as she doesn't have "the emotional thick skin" to deal with the negativity.
"I think for me, what's interesting is it's not even stuff that's directed at me that I get upset by," Pugh said to Sue Perkins. "I just get so irritated by how wrongly used the internet is and how there is such an amazing opportunity to make it epic and amazing and kind."
They are both consenting adults and if they make each other happy, then that's all that should matter.