During Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s film “Documented,” a documentary about the struggles of undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, the network sent out a tweet asking viewers to decide if he should be deported.
“Do you think Jose should be deported? Answer with JOSESTAY or JOSEGO using #Documented,” CNN’s Twitter account said.
Several Twitter users questioned whether the network was being too blithe in having viewers decide Vargas’s fate.
“This is outrageous,” tweeted Natalie Baur, a Miami resident. “This isn’t some soulless reality show. It’s someone’s life. And a real issue.”
“JoseGO hashtag is a carnival of racism masked as concern for illegal immigration,” José Ariel Cuevas said.
CNN’s social media editor Anna M. Gonzalez strongly pushed back on the criticism online, saying that Vargas poses the same question in many different forums.
“Not ‘oh no,'” Gonzalez tweeted. “It’s the question he asks presidential candidates, congressional committees … It’s central to the film.”
Vargas also defended CNN’s tweet in a statement to BuzzFeed, saying it was a way to “humanize the issue.”
“At a time of political standstill, with reporters calling immigration reform, ‘dead,’ we gotta humanize this issue. Asking ‘JoseGo’ and ‘JoseStay’ is a way of asking my fellow Americans, ‘What do you want to do with me? What do you want to do with us?'”
Ultimately, CNN viewers voted that Jose should stay, 63 percent to 37 percent.
- Anna M. Gonzalez (@webanna) June 30, 2014
Watch the trailer of the film: