A law firm warned the makers of “Degrassi: The Next Generation” that future rap star Drake would leave the teen drama if his character remained in a wheelchair, according to one of the show’s writers.
Drake, then known as Aubrey Graham, starred from 2001 to 2008 as Jimmy Brooks, who became paralyzed below the waist in a school shooting.
One of the show’s writers, James Hurst, recalled in The A.V. Club on Thursday that Drake appeared to reach a breaking point with the character’s disability.
“There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto, and it was from Aubrey,” Hurst told the outlet. “It was an odd letter that said, ‘Aubrey Graham will not return to Degrassi season six as Jimmy Brooks unless his injury is healed, and he’s out of the wheelchair.’”
Hurst confronted Graham on it, and said the future Drake seemed to deny knowledge of the letter. But Graham did allow that he was concerned about his reputation in the music world, Hurst said.
“He’s like, ‘All my friends in the rap game say I’m soft because I’m in a wheelchair,’” Hurst said. “And I said, ‘Well, tell your friends in the rap game that you got shot. How much harder can you get? You got shot, and you’re in a wheelchair.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’”