After seven years with XRAY.FM, stalwart Portland DJs Anjali and the Incredible Kid have resigned, citing the station's handling of complaints from current and former staffers against Jefferson Smith, the station's onetime executive director.
Last week, the pair hosted the last episode of Chor Bazaar, a music show they've hosted every week on XRAY since the station's inception.
"As a brown woman I no longer feel safe there," DJ Anjali, aka Anjali Hursh, wrote in a public letter posted on social media. "As an activist I cannot be associated with the station that still employs and trusts Jefferson Smith."
"I refuse to create free content based on 40 years of personal music research for a station that does not share my values," the statement continues, "that actively protects toxic masculinity and profits from my expertise."
Neither the station board nor Smith immediately responded to requests for comment.
Last summer, nine XRAY employees submitted letters to the station's board, alleging unprofessional behavior and illegal labor practices by Smith. The letters sparked two human resources investigations and eventually led to the resignation of XRAY's founder and board president, Jenny Logan.
On Jan. 1, Smith stepped down from his role as executive director. He continues to work with the music and talk-radio nonprofit as an on-air host and under a new title of senior adviser.
Hursh is not convinced the transition has led to real change.
"It just seemed like everything was to defuse any momentum or anger we had," she tells WW. "There's been little recognition of the harm that he's done. Some of these women are actually traumatized."
One of the letters submitted last summer to the board, written by the station's former finance manager, Lillian Karabaic, was later leaked to station DJs.
Hursh is not the first DJ to resign since last summer's events and Smith's transition to a new role. But she and the Incredible Kid are two of the most prominent DJs to leave the station.
The duo, who spin everything from Bhangra to urban Desi and cumbia, have been longtime fixtures of Portland's music scene, hosting popular dance nights like Tropitaal and the 20-years-running Andaz. During the pandemic, they've continued to host dance nights on Twitch.
XRAY's DJs are all volunteers. Hursh says that prior to the events of last summer and fall, she and many of the station's other DJs were unaware of the station's office culture. Karabaic's letter, as well as the response from the board and some fellow DJs, was "eye-opening" for Hursh.
"Over and over there was anger at who was trying to 'take down XRAY,' but almost no concern for the staff that had to suffer while working under an abusive boss," reads Hursh's letter. "I've sat through so many meetings at this point, they are a waste of my time. I cannot sit through another meeting where questions go unanswered."
Read Hursh's full statement here.