Drake threatened to stop ‘Degrassi’ over his character’s wheelchair storyline, present author claims

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Drake attends the
Drake’s Degrassi days are a sizzling subject — 20 years after the present’s debut. (Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Drake did not need his Degrassi: The Next Generation character to be in a wheelchair — and made a giant deal about it.

For the 20th anniversary of the present’s premiere, the A.V. Club spoke with forged and crew members from the favored Canadian teen drama. While the “In My Feelings” rapper, now 34, did not take part, tales have been instructed about his seven-season run taking part in Jimmy Brooks — again when he glided by his given title, Aubrey Graham. Specifically mentioned have been tales about how, after Jimmy was left paralyzed — in a two-part episode involving a college capturing within the wake of Columbine that aired in 2004 — Drake reportedly did not need to be in a wheelchair on the present and bought his lawyer concerned.

“There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto, and it was from Aubrey,” author James Hurst claimed, “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.’ I said, ‘Get him down here.’”

Hurst mentioned he confronted Drake, who was about 19 on the time, concerning the letter, and the younger star claimed he had nothing to do with it.

“I said, ‘All right, I understand. But how do you feel about the wheelchair?’” Hurst requested. “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?’ … He was like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ He was so nice and apologetic about everything. He instantly backed down.”

Hurst said he told Drake, “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.”

[embedded content]

Shane Kippel, who performed Spinner, admitted, “​​[There’s] the apprehension of having your character confined to a wheelchair, or even not really feeling like it’s right to be portraying someone who is confined to a wheelchair if you’re fully abled yourself. But that pertains to [Aubrey] and how he felt with that.”

Lauren Collins, who was Paige, added, “I think [Aubrey] struggled, just physically, with having to all of a sudden do [all his acting while] confined to a chair. That was really hard for him. I definitely have a few memories of him toppling the chair over and falling off of makeshift ramps that they’d constructed for him.”

Collins went on to say, “I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I think [Aubrey] probably struggled with the idea that he was one of two Black characters on the show, and that he was the one who was winding up shot and in a wheelchair, which obviously is part of a much larger conversation.”

According to the writers, there have been discussions about therapeutic Jimmy with surgical procedure. The character had a stem cell remedy and, on the finish of his run, used crutches, together with to get his diploma within the commencement episode.

Drake hasn’t publicly commented concerning the claims, and his rep has not responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for remark.

The present made Drake a giant star and he went on to pursue a rap profession. He’s been nominated for 47 Grammy awards and has received 4, together with Best Rap Album for 2011’s Take Care.

Drake’s video for his tune “I’m Upset” took him again to Degrassi and featured him reuniting with lots of his former forged members, together with Collins and Kippel.