"Shia was offered to present an Oscar. He said he would do it if he can share that moment with his beloved co-star Zach Gottsagen who we all adore," the director tweeted. "It's stressful up there... "
Shia LaBeouf's "Honey Boy" director came to the actor's defense after some viewers misunderstood an interaction between him and Zack Gottsagen on the Oscars stage Sunday night.
When LaBeouf and Gottsagen, who has Down syndrome, presented the award for Best Live Action Short Sunday night, LaBeouf appeared to awkwardly laugh while his "Peanut Butter Falcon" co-star took a long pause before saying, "And the Oscar goes to..."
Thankfully once the Twitter-critics came out in full force, there were those like director Alma Har'el, there to explain LaBeouf's profound relationship with Gottsagen.
Shia was offered to present an Oscar. He said he would do it if he can share that moment with his beloved co-star Zach Gottsagen who we all adore. It's stressful up there... pic.twitter.com/F75aT1vURa
Har'el, who directed LaBeouf in "Honey Boy," tweeted, "Shia was offered to present an Oscar. He said he would do it if he can share that moment with his beloved co-star Zach Gottsagen who we all adore. It's stressful up there... "
Maria Shriver also took to Twitter to applaud the history-making Oscars moment as Gottsagen, 35, became the first person with Down syndrome to present at the Oscars.
"An amazing moment with Shia LaBeouf and his Peanut Butter Falcon co-star Zack Gottsagen presenting at the #Oscars. Bravo!" she tweeted.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, a disability rights organization, shared their praise, tweeting, "Congrats Zack Gottsagen on presenting an award at the #Oscars! Thank you @TheAcademy for recognizing #disability on stage tonight - we're so proud to team up with them on disability #inclusion in entertainment. #RepresentMeHollywood."
Another Twitter user named Michelle, who is a civil rights lawyer per her bio, echoed Har'el, while also pointing out how LaBeouf "credits Zack with changing his life."
"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 tweeted. "Have some freaking respect."
For those who don't know, LaBeouf was arrested for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and obstruction while filming "The Peanut Butter Falcon" alongside Gottsagen in Georgia back in 2017.
During an interview with UK's Channel 4 last year, LaBeouf said Gottsagen saved him from what he called a "twisted" time in his life. In fact, Gottsagen said he told the "Transformers" star he had "one chance to prove to himself: never, never, never do this kind of stuff again."