It seems that not everyone was blown away by the story of wheelchair Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi: The Next Generation”, which gave Drake his leading role on television, namely Drake himself. same.
In an oral history of the series released Thursday by The AV Club, former “Degrassi” writer James Hurst recalled that the rapper – real name Aubrey Graham – was concerned that the wheelchair would make him “soft” and even threatened with legal action against the show.
âThere was a letter from a Toronto law firm, and it was from Aubrey,â Hurst said. âIt was a strange letter that said, ‘Aubrey Graham will not be returning in Season 6 of Degrassi as Jimmy Brooks unless his injury is healed and he is not in a wheelchair.’ I said, ‘Bring him here.’ He walked in and said, ‘What letter? I don’t know about that.
Hurst recalls that when he asked Drake how he felt about the wheelchair, he replied, âAll my friends in the rap game say I’m sweet because I’m in a wheelchair. And I said, ‘Well, tell your friends in rap that you got shot. How much harder can you get? You were shot and you are in a wheelchair.
Jimmy Brooks, if you can’t remember or never got sucked into the addictive Canadian teen drama series, became in a wheelchair after a school shootout left him paralyzed in Season 4. According to Hurst, Drake eventually changed his mind about Jimmy’s situation and stayed with the show until Season 8 – although the character did start using crutches after undergoing stem cell surgery during from season 7.
âHe was so nice and apologized for everything,â Hurst said. âHe immediately backed off. I was very passionate about it, and I said, ‘Aubrey, there’s a kid out there in a wheelchair, who’s completely ignored, who’s never on TV, who’s never portrayed.’ I need you to represent this person. You’re the coolest kid on the show, and you can tell it’s nothing wrong with being in a wheelchair.
Although Drake did not participate in the AV Club oral history, one of his co-stars, Lauren Collins, who played Paige Michalchuk, spoke about how the rapper felt about his character’s situation. She remembered how “hard” it was for Drake to maneuver the wheelchair, and even remembered that he had “knocked the chair upside down” on several occasions.
She added: “I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I think [Drake] probably struggled with the idea that he was one of the two black characters on the show and that he was the one who ended up dejected and in a wheelchair, which is obviously part of a much larger conversation.