'I don't know what that is': Scott Morrison's 'barre' gaffe at Coronavirus press conference

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Prime Minister Scott Morrison took on the pronunciation of a new fitness trend, and lost. Photo: ABC

This evening’s press conference about increased social-distancing measures rolled out across Australia left many Australians deeply sobered, but one remarkable verbal stumble from the PM provided all watching with a much-needed moment of levity.

Announcing exercise services to be shut down under the measures, the Prime Minister found himself stumped by the new ballet-based workout phenomenon ‘barre’, and it was as much of a dad moment as you could get.

Behold, barre:

“Barre,” he said pronouncing the ‘e’ at the end of the word.

Barre is pronounced ‘bar’, but it didn’t stop there.

“I hope I pronounced that correctly,” he continued. “I might need help with that.”

Continuing to dig himself into a plié-shaped hole he went on: “I'm not sure what that is, but barre, for those looking for the specific definition, and spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres.”

Online users react to gag

Online users were quick to jump on the gaffe, which was for many the only tiny smile they allowed themselves throughout the grim announcement.

Some confessed to being in the same boat as the Prime Minister.


In fact, some reported google trends reported an instant spike in searches for the term, meaning perhaps more were as confused as Scott Morrison than were letting on.

Others were just here for the much-needed comic relief.

Photo: Twitter

They had.

Photo: Twitter

Others allowed themselves to celebrate a tiny win for the new exercise, which will be on indefinite hiatus from tomorrow on.

Tighter social distancing restrictions announced

The restrictions announced this evening – outside of barre – are sure to leave many Aussies reeling.

Mr Morrison said personal beauty therapy, including tattoo artists, amusement parks, arcades and both indoor and outdoor play centres will be shut down from midnight on Wednesday and funerals will no longer be able to have more than 10 people while weddings can only have five.

He also moved to shut down open house inspections and auctions.

“These will be a significant sacrifice, I know,” he told reporters.

Mr Morrison said shopping centres would close but later clarified he meant shopping centre food courts.

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