Like usually, people made something out of nothing.
This year's Academy Awards were historic for so many reasons. Parasite (2019) made history becoming the first non-English film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture as well as sweeping their categories for Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director. While Parasite was the talk of the evening, 35-year-old actor, Zack Gottsagen also made Oscars history becoming the first person with down syndrome to ever present an Academy Award.
This past Sunday, Zack Gottsegen and his Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) co-star, Shia LeBeouf, got the opportunity to present the award for Best Live Action Short Film. Shia LeBeouf began reading off the teleprompter introducing the category and as it became time for Gottsagen to read his portion of the script, he briefly paused, provoking LeBeouf to help out his collaborator and friend. While Gottsegen might have briefly struggled, he successfully presented the award while LeBeouf nervously laughed releasing the tension from the room.
Somehow, LeBeouf's attempt to help Gottsagen and playful giggle didn't go over well with some patrons around the internet causing Gottsagen's mother to step in and clarify LeBeouf's intentions. During a brief interview with Too Fab, Zack's mother, Shelley Gottsagen, revealed that her son and the Honey Boy (2019) creator share an authentic friendship and true bond, as she stated:
"I would hate to see any misconception out there. I mean, you know, 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."
Shelley revealed that Shia would never have a "negative attitude" in regards to her son, as she continued:
"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."
Honey Boy director, Alma Har'el also came to the defense of LaBeouf, Tweeting:
"Shia was offered to present an Oscar. He said he would do it if he can share that moment with his beloved co-star Zack Gottsagen who we all adore."
While Shia LeBeouf nervously laughing was clearly taken out of context, his friends and family know the genuine connection he and Zack Gottsagen share. Check out Zack make history by becoming the first person with down syndrome to present an Academy Award in the video provided below.