Zack Gottsagen’s Mom Defends Shia LaBeouf Over Oscars 2020 Accusation


Last week’s Oscars saw a very silly mini-controversy arise online after The Peanut Butter Falcon duo Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen presented the award for Best Live Action short. Their appearance was notable because it made Gottsagen the first person with Down Syndrome to present an Academy Award.

Of course, LaBeouf and Gottsagen’s friendship has been evident both in the film and on the press tour, right down to them spending time posing for pictures together on the red carpet just prior to the event. But when they delivered the award together, some took exception to LaBeouf appearing to laugh at Gottsagen’s delivery. Folks dashed to social media, claiming that Shia “literally laughed at the kid with special needs” (Gottsagen is 34 years old, by the way), that what he did was “distasteful” and that he should now be officially cancelled, among many other things.

Gottsagen’s mother Shelley has now stepped in to defend LaBeouf, though. In an interview with Too Fab, she said the following:

“Shia is just wonderful, you know? We really love him. If anything, I think they were grinning because it was hard to get the envelope open. Their friendship is really, really beautiful … It upset me when I thought that somebody was thinking that Shia could have ever had a kind of negative attitude ’cause he’s been nothing, nothing, nothing but supportive.”

Shia LaBeouf

So, there you go keyboard warriors. In your rush to defend someone who’s quite capable of speaking for himself, you upset his mom. Good job.

Shelley Gottsagen went on to talk more about how Shia LaBeouf and Gottsagen have worked together through the film’s production as well, saying:

“They love each other [and] really encourage each other. Shia’s been very supportive of Zack as an actor, his professionalism. [He] did a lot with promoting the movie, you know, which, Shia always doesn’t – that’s not really his thing, but he did it for Zack.”

It’s rare to find a genuine feel-good story in the shallow, cutthroat world of Hollywood, but dammit, the friendship between LaBeouf and Gottsagen is a rare ray of light and I’m going to hold onto it. And, in a perpetual reminder, you should definitely check out The Peanut Butter Falcon. There’s a reason it’s sitting at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.