Drake allegedly almost left “Degrassi: The Next Generation” because of his character’s storyline.
Drake’s character, Jimmy Brooks, was in a wheelchair for many seasons of the show, something writer and producer James Hurst said caused the rapper to want to exit the series.
During an interview with The AV Club to mark the show’s 20th anniversary, Hurst claimed that Drake was being called “soft” by his “friends in the rap game” since he was in a wheelchair.
Hurst said he got a letter from a law firm that read, “Aubrey Graham (Drake’s real name) will not return to Degrassi season six as Jimmy Brooks unless his injury is healed, and he’s out of the wheelchair.”
When Drake came in to talk about it, he claimed to not be aware of the letter.
Recalling the moment, Hurst continued, “And I said, ‘All right, I understand. But how do you feel about the wheelchair?’ He’s like, ‘All my friends in the rap game say I’m soft because I’m in a wheelchair.’ 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.’ He was so nice and apologetic about everything. He instantly backed down.”
Hurst then spoke to Drake about the representation he was providing.
“I said, ‘Aubrey, there’s some kid somewhere in a wheelchair, who’s completely ignored, who’s never on television, never gets represented.’ I need you to represent this person. You’re the coolest kid on the show, and you can say there’s nothing wrong with being in a wheelchair,” Hurst added.
ET Canada has reached out to Drake for comment.