Academy Awards

'Honey Boy' Director Defends Shia LaBeouf After Oscars Moment With Co-Star Zack Gottsagen

Some accused Shia LaBeouf of laughing at Zack Gottsagen as he began to say the famous line, "And the Oscar goes to..."

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Shia LaBeouf made headlines on Sunday night.

At the 2020 Oscars, the "Peanut Butter Falcon" star took to the stage with his co-star Zack Gottsagen to present the award for Best Live-Action Short Prize. 

Making the duo's appearance even more special? Gottsagen received a standing ovation at the Dolby Theatre, and considering he made history as the first presenter with Down Syndrome at the ceremony, it was much-deserved.

However, there was a part during their bit that caught some people off-guard. When Gottsagen began to say the famous line, "And the Oscar goes to...," some accused LaBeouf of laughing at his co-star.

But "Honey Boy" director, Alma Har'el, took to social media to defend the 33-year-old actor over the incident.

"Shia was offered to present an Oscar," the celebrated director shared on Twitter, alongside a video clip of the moment everyone was talking about. "He said he would do it if he can share that moment with his beloved co-star Zach Gottsagen who we all adore," she continued. "It's stressful up there..."

Moreover, civil rights lawyer, who goes by the Twitter name michelleu0119, expressed the same sentiments as Har'el.

"To everyone tweeting about 'the guy with special needs' - his name is Zack Gottsagen; he starred in a fantastic movie called Peanut Butter Falcon with Shia LaBeouf (who credits Zack with changing his life)," Michelle wrote. "Have some freaking respect."

Maria Shriver also joined in on the conversation and praised the wonderful moment.

"An amazing moment with Shia LaBeouf and his Peanut Butter Falcon co-star Zack Gottsagen presenting at the #Oscars," Shriver said, alongside a photo of the two presenting. "Bravo!"

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a disability rights organization, also celebrated Zack's major moment at the awards ceremony.

"Congrats Zack Gottsagen on presenting an award at the #Oscars! Thank you @TheAcademy for recognizing #disability on stage tonight," the organization shared. "We're so proud to team up with them on disability #inclusion in entertainment."

They added, "Congrats Zack Gottsagen on being 1st actor w/ Down Syndrome to present an award at the #Oscars! We're proud to partner w/ @TheAcademy on #disability #inclusion in entertainment."

The 2020 Oscars also marked Gottsagen's first time attending the annual ceremony, but we have a feeling this won't be his last.

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