Murphy blasts YouTube stars who hosted Jersey Shore party

TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A trio of YouTube stars who hosted a massive party at a home that appeared on MTV’s “Jersey Shore” are “knuckleheads” who are no longer welcome in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.

The Nelk Boys, three popular Canadian YouTubers, hosted a maskless party on Monday night at a rental home in Seaside Heights where “Jersey Shore” was filmed, videos posted to social media show.

At his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Murphy denounced the trio as “so-called influencers” who “need to be taken to task.”

“On Monday night we saw, perhaps, our most extreme — which is saying something, by the way — and egregious display of knucklehead behavior in Seaside Heights, set off by a group of YouTube pranksters who succeeded in getting the notoriety they wanted but obviously don’t deserve,” he said. 

At least 1,000 young people, most of whom weren’t wearing masks, crowded around the Jersey Shore home after the YouTube stars posted on Instagram saying they were hosting a "drop day" event there at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

New Jersey State Police and police officers from seven or eight towns had to respond to the party to help break up the crowd, putting themselves in danger of contracting COVID-19, Murphy said.

“It’s exactly the type of situation we cannot have,” he said. “It was irresponsible from top to bottom, in every respect.” 

“And New Jersey was just the latest stop on their tour of willful negligence for public health in a pandemic,” he added, calling the Nelk Boys “knuckleheads who I hope don’t come back to New Jersey, and certainly aren’t welcome.”

Anyone who attended the party should get tested for COVID-19, Murphy said. COVID-19 positivity rates among young people in New Jersey have been approximately three times higher than the statewide daily average, he noted. 

Murphy on Wednesday also reported 447 new COVID-19 cases and nine new deaths, bringing the state’s case total to 197,792 and its death toll to 14,263. 

As of Tuesday, 462 people in the state were hospitalized with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, 100 of whom were in intensive care and 38 of whom were on ventilators, he said.