Mat George, 'She Rates Dogs' Podcast Co-Host, Dead at 26 Following Hit-and-Run
Mat George was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by a car early Saturday morning, according to police and co-host Michaela Okland
Mat George, who hosted the popular "She Rates Dogs" podcast, has died. He was 26.
The Los Angeles Police Department said that George was struck in a hit-and-run in Los Angeles on Saturday morning around 2:20 a.m. while walking in an unmarked crosswalk, according to CBS Los Angeles. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His death was confirmed by his podcast co-host Michaela Okland, who broke the news to their fans on social media.
"I would rather you guys here [sic] this from me than a news article. Mat was killed in a hit and run," she wrote on Saturday afternoon. "I don't really have any other words right now. I wish I could contact everybody who knows him personally but the news is already out and I just can't do it right now."
Hours later Okland shared a follow-up message, thanking all of their fans and loved ones for "telling stories" about "how he impacted you."
"Thank you so much," she wrote. "Whenever you think of him in the future, please do talk about him."
His death was also mourned by his friends and fans, who posted touching tributes on social media.
"Mat George was the funniest person I know hands down, funnier than most career comedians. I told him that every time we talked. His career barely got started and I was so excited to watch him succeed. I'm at a loss for words. Rest In Peace," wrote pal and comedian Abby Govindan.
"Mat george's death is hitting me unusually hard. i didnt know the man one bit but i would see his tweets and interactions on the tl all the time. he seemed like the epitome of a great dude and it sucks so bad that he's gone," wrote one fan, as another added, "he was always a bright spot on my timeline. His vulnerability and humor made me feel a little more at home in my own skin."
On their podcast, George and Okland discussed "the journey and the mishaps of dating men" while also providing "modern relationship and life advice."
George's podcast co-host went on to share another emotional series of messages, noting that she wasn't sure when she would be able to put out another episode.
"Hi everybody, Michaela here. Mat and I recorded one more episode that was meant to come out Tuesday but it will likely be put on hold. I know in years to come I'll feel so lucky that there's so many recordings of Mat's laugh to revisit," Okland wrote on their podcast's Twitter account.
"I am not ready to talk about everything, or to have to use past-tense to describe him. I think you all knew within 10 seconds of listening to him how vibrant, loving, accepting, and wonderful Mat George is. This community made him so happy. Your words and support made him so happy," she continued.
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Reflecting on the impact his fans had on his life, Okland wrote that "so many of the kind messages I've gotten note the fact that you all 'didn't know mat in real life,' but everybody who supported him truly meant more than you realize."
"He'd send me screenshots of your sweet messages, he shed tears when people told him he had helped them through issues (especially LGBT+ related). He referenced DMs from you all the time and how much it made his week & fueled his joy. You really did know him," she added. "He shared so much because he felt the people who listened to him were his friends."
George decided to pursue comedy and entertainment after studying biology in college.
"Towards the end of my college days at Arizona State University I started to share my experiences as a gay man with different people I was close to. Their reactions made me realize that a lot of these stories were funny to others, which then gave me more confidence to start sharing them with even more people," he told Shoutout Arizona last year, adding that he hoped that by opening up he could help "make LGBTQ+ people all across the world feel like they're not alone."
"I knew it was risky but I also knew that if I didn't try I would never stop wondering what could've been," George added of his big career change.