A moderated interview Steve Martin recently gave in New York in front of an audience of some 900 people has been so criticized that viewers have been offered a refund.
Martin, a 65-year-old comedian and actor who is known for films such as "Three Amigos!", had spoken at the Monday event to promote his new novel, "An Object of Beauty".
New York Times Magazine writer Deborah Solomon carried out the interview at the 92nd Street Y, but many viewers, some watching by closed-circuit television from across the United States, sent angry emails slamming her for asking many questions about art, the subject of his book, rather than about Martin's career, the newspaper said.
"We acknowledge that last night's event with Steve Martin did not meet the standard of excellence that you have come to expect from 92nd St. Y," it quoted the facility's executive director, Sol Adler, as saying in an e-mail to ticket holders.
"We planned for a more comprehensive discussion and we, too, were disappointed with the evening," he said. "We will be mailing you a $50 certificate for each ticket you purchased to last night's event."
During the interview, a Y representative handed Solomon a note asking her to talk more about Martin's career, prompting the audience to cheer. Solomon told the New York Times that she was "appalled" to have their conversation publicly criticized by the Y and added that organizers did not specify how she should carry out the interview.
Martin defended Solomon, saying on his Twitter page: "So the 92nd St. Y has determined that the course of its interviews should be dictated in real time by its audience's emails. Artists beware."