57. Shelley Gottsagen On Her Son Zack Gottsagen's Fame, The Oscars, + More!
You’ve seen Zack Gottsagen on the big screen during his hit movie, The Peanut Butter Falcon, and you’ve seen him onstage at the Oscars, but have you ever wondered about the woman who’s supported him since the beginning? In this VERY special interview, we’re talking to Zack’s mom, Shelley Gottsagen, who’s been shouting his worth boldly for 34 years.
Not only was Zack the FIRST person with Down Syndrome to present an Academy Award on stage at the Oscars, he was the FIRST person with DS to be fully included in his elementary school, then the first to attend a prestigious performing arts school for middle school. And when he auditioned for a performing arts high school and didn’t get it in, his mom fought back. Knowing her son was talented enough, she investigated and found out that the school had never let a person with a disability in before. She took this information straight to civil court, and Zack started at that high school the next year.
Tune in to hear more about a lifetime of self-advocacy, fighting systems, Zack’s relationship with Shia Lebeouf, The Oscars, Peanut Butter Falcon, what’s next for Zack, and so much more.
Watch Zack present an award at the Oscars with co-star Shia Labeouf here.
Watch The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Zack Gottsagen, Shia Labeouf, and Dakota Johnson!
Follow Zack Gottsagen on Instagram!
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