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Drake Almost Quit Degrassi After His Character Became Handicapped

In a new oral history of Degrassi for AVClub, the show's writer James Hurst revealed that Drake wanted to quit the Canadian teen drama after his character Jimmy ended up in a wheelchair. Hurst said, “There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto, and it was from Aubrey. 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.'”

Drake later told Hurst the reason why, saying, “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 continued, ” . . . 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.”