OSCARS viewers defended Shia LaBeouf tonight after trolls said he laughed at actor Zack Gottsagen on stage.
The pair, who star in The Peanut Butter Falcon together, teamed up to present the award for Best Action Live Film, with each taking a line from the teleprompter.
Shia went first, telling the audience: “Short films allow for new voices to be seen and heard without budget or permission. I’ve seen these films and they are beautiful.”
Zack, who appeared nervous, added: “And, if you haven’t seen it come seen it.”
And Shia replied with a grin: “Bang.”
After the trailers for each nominee aired on the big screen, Shia helped Zack open the winner’s envelope and appeared to laugh when he spotted who had won.
Zack announced: “The Oscar goes to….” as Shia leaned over and said: “The Neighbor’s Widow.”
Some viewers interpreted Shia’s reaction as making fun of Zack, who has Down syndrome.
One asked: “Did Shia just REALLY laugh at the Down syndrome man on stage… on live television?! “
Another raged: “Did you guys not notice Shia trying not to laugh at the kid with Down syndrome?”
But others online knew of the co-stars’ friendship and shut down claims the actor had been disrespectful.
Shia has even credited Zack with saving his life after they met on set of his latest movie.
One fan wrote: “Hey idiots, Shia didn’t laugh at Zack Gottsagen. They are close friends and did an entire movie with him. He does nothing but praise Zack every time he gets a chance.”
Another said: “Ya’ll think that Shia would really laugh at a man with Down syndrome, also his costar, live on the #Oscars?? “
And one more wrote: “Wow! People are really trippin’ about Shia’s laugh. He and Zack are bros. He was not laughing at him. Y’all get on my nerves”
Zack made history as the Academy Awards’ first awards presenter with Down syndrome at the 2020 Oscars on Sunday.
When asked what attracted him to The Peanut Butter Falcon, Shia told Channel 4 last year: “Zack. I had never worked with anyone like him. It felt like it was going to be a really free experience. But to be quite frank, I was terrified.”
The troubled actor, who has been arrested for public intoxication in the past, went on to say Zack had made him change his ways.
He said: “The kid in me died. I just got over all this, this roller coaster wasn’t fun after a while.
“You ride the same roller coaster it just loses its appeal.”
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