(LOS ANGELES) — Actor-director Zach Braff is speaking out against the harsh criticism he and girlfriend Florence Pugh faced over their 21-year age difference.
In a candid Monday interview with Mr. Porter’s magazine, Braff, who is 45, revealed why he decided to open up now about the controversy.
Back in April, Pugh was highlighted as the new “it girl” in Hollywood thanks to her standout performances in Midsommar and Little Women, the latter of which earning her an Oscar nomination. But once the 24-year-old British actress confirmed she was dating the Scrubs veteran and Garden State writer-director, the two were met with an onslaught of unsavory and belittling comments.
As a result, Pugh took to Instagram to unleash a fiery video that shamed fans for thinking they had the right to tell her who she can and cannot date. She also ordered her nearly two million followers to stop “bullying” her boyfriend.
“The abuse that you throw at him is abuse that you are throwing at me, and I don’t want those followers,” the Black Widow star condemned at the time. “It makes me upset that during this time when we need to be together, the world is aching and the world is dying, and a few of you decided to bully for no reason.”
Braff told the magazine that he was beyond impressed by Pugh’s fearlessness and self-assuredness, remarking, “She literally sat down, hit record on her phone and said that.”
However, when the Emmy nominee tried to think up his own response to the controversy, he realized Pugh’s original commentary covered everything that needed to be addressed.
“I thought: how could I possibly follow anything as intelligent and articulate as that? So, I chose not to,” Braff admitted.
Braff and Pugh are currently hunkering down in London now that the U.K. is enforcing another lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.
By Megan Stone Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.