Actress and comedian Margaret Cho has praised Jay Leno for apologising after causing controversy with his racist jokes about Asian people.

The 71-year-old TV host issued an apology in March for his decades of quips that perpetuated racist stereotypes, including suggesting Korean people eat dog and cat meat.

And Margaret - who makes an appearance on an upcoming episode of Leno's CNBC motor vehicle series Jay Leno's Garage - praised the presenter for finally owning up to his mistakes.

"(I) booked Jay quite a while ago," the 52-year-old star told Entertainment Weekly. "For him to step up and take respon­sibility is very meaningful. I’m so pleased with his response. I accept apologies."

In his apology, Leno had said: "At the time I did those jokes, I genuinely thought them to be harmless. I was making fun of our enemy North Korea, and like most jokes, there was a ring of truth to them."

The former Tonight Show host continued to admit that while he defended the jokes for years, he knew they were wrong, and said he hoped he can "live up to the expectations" of the Asian American community in the future.