A group of prominent Asians in Hollywood, including director Ang Lee and actors George Takei and Sandra Oh, added their names to a protest letter, which was sent to Academy executives and the awards show producers on Tuesday (15Mar16), and hours later the AMPAS bosses released a statement.

In it they apologised for derogatory jokes made about Asians at the Oscars ceremony last month (Feb16).

One skit that upset the protest group featured three Asian children introduced onstage by host Chris Rock as accountants, while British funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen also made a stereotype joke.

The apology statement reads: "The Academy appreciates the concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive. We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future shows be more culturally sensitive."

Takei has also released his own statement to The Hollywood Reporter, stating, "I was astounded at the obliviousness and the ignorance of the Academy... (It was) a disastrous oversight on their part."