Drake portrayed the character “Jimmy Brooks” from 2001–2008.
According to a former writer on the show, Drake reportedly threatened legal action for getting his “Degrassi: The Next Generation” character out of a wheelchair.
The rapper, born Aubrey Graham, famously portrayed Jimmy Brooks, a student who was shot and thus had to use a wheelchair in the teen drama from 2001 to 2008.
But writer James Hurst now claims that the then child actor advocated to get his character back on his feet.
“There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto, and it was from Aubrey. It was a strange letter that said, ‘Aubrey Graham won’t return as Jimmy Brooks in ‘Degrassi’ Season 6 until his injury doesn’t heal, and she’s out of a wheelchair,'” Hearst accused The AV Club in an interview published Thursday. “I said, ‘Get her down here.'”
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Hearst confronted Drake, now 34, over the letter, saying, “He came in and was like, ‘Which letter? I don’t know about that.’ And I said, ‘Okay, I understand. But how do you feel about the wheelchair?'”
Drake reportedly claimed that his rapper friends made fun of him for being in a wheelchair, to which Hearst explained why the role was so important.
“He’s like, ‘All my friends at the rap game say I’m soft because I’m in a wheelchair,'” Hearst remembered. “And I said, ‘Okay, tell your friends at the rap game you got shot. How hard can you go? You got shot, and you’re in a wheelchair.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, yeah.'”
Hurst said that in the end Drizzy was “very good” and “apologetic” and did not proceed with any legal action.
“He immediately backed off. I was very emotional about it, and I said, ‘Aubrey, there’s some kid somewhere in a wheelchair, who’s totally ignored, who’s never on television, never represented. “I want you to represent this person. You’re the coolest kid on the show, and you can say that there’s nothing wrong with being in a wheelchair.”
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However, Drake has a history of being pushed back during his time on “Degrassi” and even needed convincing to rap on the Canadian soap.
“His musical side was one side of his career and acting was another,” executive producer Stephen Stohn told an exclusive to Page Six at the ATX TV Festival in June. “We managed to get him to wrap some, but it took some convincing.”
A representative for Drake did not immediately respond to our request for comment.