Megan Townsend, Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis

A photo of Megan TownsendAs GLAAD's Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis, Megan Townsend advocates for the inclusion of nuanced and diverse LGBTQ stories and characters in film, television, comics, and other forms of entertainment by producing actionable research and providing insight to improve and increase representation. She also serves as a consultant and educator for networks, studios, executives, and content creators, and has worked with many series including Disney Channel’s history making Andi Mack, Freeform’s Shadowhunters, Netflix’s Everything Sucks!, The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and more.

During her time with GLAAD, Townsend co-created GLAAD's Studio Responsibility Index, an annual report analyzing LGBTQ representation in mainstream film, as well as the Vito Russo Test, a set of criteria used to examine how LGBTQ characters are situated within a narrative. She is also the principal author and researcher of GLAAD's annual Where We Are on TV report, and works as a resource to the industry to ensure authentic representations. She has served as an expert on LGBTQ representation on panels at major events including San Diego Comic Con and the Television Critics Association, as well as being quoted in the Associated Press, New York Times, Elle, USA Today and more.

A graduate of Central Michigan University, Megan joined GLAAD in January 2012 as the Entertainment Media Fellow.