Let's shift the narrative and shine some well-deserved light on Zack, who has won his own slew of awards
Entertainment News/Trending Special Needs

Sick of Shia? Let’s Celebrate Zack. He Deserves It.

Photo Credit: Zachary Gottsagen Instagram

The 2020 Oscars made history when 35-year-old Zack Gottsagen presented the award for best live-action short. He is the first person with Down Syndrome to present an award for the academy.

But it’s Zack’s co-presenter, Shia Labeouf, who is stealing all the attention. Social media is having an all-out brawl over Labeouf’s cringe-worthy smirk when Gottasgen paused during his speech.

Whether that smirk was one of mockery or playfulness is up for debate. The two co-starred in the 2019 film, The Peanut Butter Falcon, and are known to be close friends. Regardless of the meaning of Shia’s facial expressions, the speculation is completely upstaging Zack’s big moment.

So let’s shift the narrative and shine some well-deserved light on Zack, who has won his own slew of awards, including the 2020 Newcomer Award from the Hollywood Critics Association and the 2020 Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, both for his performance in The Peanut Butter Falcon (I know what I’ll be streaming this weekend).

Video from Roadside Attractions on YouTube

Zack dreamed of being an actor from a young age, watching Grease until he “wore out the VHS tape.” His two mothers, Shelley and Trish, were told he should be put into an institution, but they disagreed. Instead, he became the first child with Down Syndrome to attend a public school in Palm Beach County, Florida where his love of acting and dancing flourished.

He eventually met filmmakers, Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, at Zeno Mountain Farm, a camp for all ability levels in Vermont. It was there that the idea for The Peanut Butter Falcon was born. Even before starring in that film, he was in the short comic film Bulletproof (2012) with David Arquette.

An inspiration for anyone who has been told they can’t, Zack followed his dream and has claimed his rightful spot on one of the most coveted platforms for actors.

Zack, I have no doubt we’ll soon be vying for front-row seats to see you in your dream role of Danny Zuko. Step aside, John Travolta.

Photo Credit: Zachary Gottsagen Instagram